02 May 2012

Are You Playing It Too Safe?

ROW80Today is both ROW80 and IWSG - (Insecure Writers Support Group)

First Wed of Every Month 
'Are You Playing It Too Safe?'

Marcy Kennedy challenges us to ask ourselves the tough questions in her post, 'Do You Worry You Won't Succeed As A Writer?'. I'm sure we've all had those pesky moments (or days) of self doubt. Heck! It's why I participate in the Insecure Writer's Support Group. But we must not let self-doubt have the final say!

I've had a weird month, confidence wise that is.  Someone I've grown to respect offered me quiet,  yet solid in a way I'm not sure I can describe, praise.  It felt great...and then the bottom dropped out from under my feet.  You see...I have a tendency to overthink things.  Once I heard those words of affirmation, my brain erupted into civil war.  Let's meet the factions...

Under the command of the illustrious Captain Confidence, Positive Prudence claps her hands as Optimist Oola joins in, cheering the gang toward victory.  Goddess Ego nods approvingly from her raised dias platform, leaving The Harridan of Hilarity to poke fun at the whole scene, ordering any and all in her path to laugh their troubles away...or else! 

Evil Nemisis Enemy Mine, that hope-hating-harpy, rallies her band of miscreant masochists with a wag of her bony finger.  Inner Critic is the first in line, that brown-nosing blackguard!  Always attempting to appease Enemy Mine, she is.  She's a sadist I tell you, staring me down with that rotten gleam in her eyes!  An honest-to-hope-and-change-sadist!  The minions, Not Good Enough Today and her twin brother Not Good Enough Tomorrow wheeze their missives of despair and defeat into my ears.
'Charlatan!  Poser!'
They cackle with glee.
Inner Critic smacks a ruler against her hand.
'Just wait until something bad happens, Nadja!  Everyone will see what a fake you are!' 
She smiles an evil, anticipatory expression that sucks the air from my lungs. 

I want to cry, but I never can.  To run.  To forget all this reach-for-your-dreams nonsense and hide away.  To focus on something more 'do-able', more 'reasonable', more 'regular'.  Maybe I could join a Bridge Club...

'Ha!' Harridan of Hilarity injects, eyebrow raised archly. 

Oh!  She's up to something.

'Something bad already happened, Inner Critic.  You're here, aren't you?'  Harridan cracks herself up, and it takes her a moment to recover. 
The corner of my mouth quirks - against my better judgement. 
'Nadja,' The Harridan faces me, eyebrow still peaked above her twinkling eyes.  'Did calamity come down upon your head?  Is the sun still shining?  Did the sky fall, my chicken little?'
My smile broadens, slightly, as I realize that no, no such awfulness has befallen me thus far.
'And what would happen if Inner Critic was right?  Would the earth stop spinning then, Fraidy-Cat?'
I shake my head in the negative.
'Well...then let's get on with it.  Get it out of the way, shall we?'
I'm stupefied, speechless.  I don't know what she means.
'Failure,' she sings, dancing toward Captain Confidence and the gang. 
Prudence and Oola go into back-up-singer-mode.
'I didn't like your writing style, and your freckles are DIS-Guuuuuus-ting.' 
Her singing really does leave a lot to be desired and I reach up, sliding my hand over those hateful freckles ( I mean, really, who has a deep olive complexion and freckles), but I find my toes tapping along with the perky melody and beat.
'We'll sing the worst to a happy tune - but don't you think of ES-caaaaaap-ing.'  The music reaches a fevered pitch, the notes sharp and clean.  'UNoriginal, UNinspiring, UNtalented, UNreliable, Uncommitted,'
I cut her off.
'Hey there.  That's not right.  I'm original.  I'm inspiring.  I'm talented, reliable, AND committed!  And Don't. You. Forget. It!'
Oh, Wait...I'm singing.  Goddess Ego conducts while contorting herself into the most unusual yoga pose.  She's radiantly beaming. 
Harridan, the bossy jester, sneaks up beside me.
'See...you never really did believe all that nonsense Inner Critic was spewing.  Why didn't you stand up to her the way you did to me?'
I stand, dumbfounded before my sub-conscious.
'Because she scares me,' I confess.
'You're not afraid of me,' she states calmly. 
'You're different,' I reply.  'You're more like me.'
'Chickie-poo...we are you.  We are only as big as you allow us to be.'
I smile, truly smile, although it takes a minute for it to spread across my face. 

I continue singing loudly in my vehicle - windows up of course!  Round one, Nadja. 

I found this character setting sketch while browsing Self Published Author's Lounge, and wanted to share.  Are you a setting planner?  I usually make a rough sketch of a main room's layout - it aids in my description and comes in handy when I want to add in character actions while speaking/thinking within the space.  But this takes it a bit further.  I decided to use it in my newest WIP.  Take a peek if you're so inclined - and even if you're not, this site contains a wealth of information!  It's well worth a stop.  :}

On The Writing Front...

Chapter one is complete.  I've begun writing chapter two, and things are moving along nicely.  I did, however, make myself one promise this time.  I'm going to type each chapter after I finish it and send it to my critique partners.  Manageable work load...manageable pieces.  I've stated it...now I'll have to hold myself to it.  Phew. 

My heroine is becoming my favorite thus far....er...that's a good sign, right?  Ha!

How did your writing go this week?  Have you been at war with yourself?  Or are you in the midst of a peaceful season? 
Well...I'm off to do some more writing - and singing.  See you all Sunday!

 - Nadja


  1. I guess every writer fears not succeeding, at least once, at some point ...
    LOL I overthink too and I loved your factions!
    nice going on the writing front ;)

    1. Glad you enjoyed. Yeah...overthinking gets me into trouble! I can't seem to help myself at times, though. ha!

  2. "my brain erupted into civil war. Let's meet the factions..." -- at least you kept your sense of humor! That's one of my favorite Twain quotes. Way to go on the writing Nadja and I'm wishing you all the best for the rest of the week.

    1. Well...if you don't laugh you'll not have any fun!
      Being able to laugh at yourself is one of the most important qualities one can possess. It deflates all that ails you...and it's a heck of a sight more entertaining than wallowing in pity or stewing in anger.

      Therapy...yes. I'll say it's therapy. Ha!

  3. Seriously, that should be a sponsor post! I laughed so hard...and NOT because I've ever done any of those things. <---liar. Yeah right. I definitely just called myself a fraidy cat yesterday hehe. Glad you're enjoying your new heroine, and yes, I'm sure that's a VERY good sign.

    P.S. I tagged you today in the Lucky 7 Meme!! Hope you'll check it out :D

    Have a great rest of the week!

    1. Oh! I think we've all been-there-done-that...lol.
      I'll definitely be over to peep-out the Lucky 7 Meme!

  4. I used to be like this. I really did. But, I finally got to the point where I decided the world didn't depend on what I wrote. It wasn't brain surgery where the slip of a scalpel could be fatal. I knew some people would like my work and some people wouldn't. I stopped worrying about the few bad reviews and was just happy with the good ones. You aren't going to please everyone, but if you please yourself, you're going to please enough people. Did that make any sense? LOL. You have nothing to worry about. Your writing is solid. :)

    1. Ha! These civil wars break out over much lesser things...ahem...as I stated, I tend to overthink things. *blushes*

      And yes...you made perfect sense. (Thank you)

  5. I have to echo Lauralynn. She hit it right on the head.

    1. Umm, yes. Lauralynn has a way of doing that. :)

  6. Love love love this post--it was an inspiration! I have to bookmark it so when the factions in my head start on their own war I can remember to just...keep singing :) Great progress and good luck the rest of the week!

    1. Awww. Hope it helps out on one of those days when Inner Critic is slapping you simple with her sadist smile. Geez!

      Thanks for cheering me on, everyone! It makes me smile.

  7. Oh, the Inner Critic came to life! Good thing you're a writer and can make all sorts of bad things happen to her if she doesn't back off. Cute way to play it out for us. I'm definitely going to visit the Self Published Authors Lounge :<)

    1. It's so great to see you, Lady Gwen! I've got to catch up with you soon.
      Yeah, I want to make bad things happen to her at times...but, to be honest, I need her too. She keeps me on track with her threatening stares...you know...it kinda inspries butt-in-chair-work!

  8. Love your sense of humor and thank you for the great post. I need to go gag my inner critic now.

  9. Ah the inner critic. Sometimes you just need to stuff them in the trunk of an imaginary car and leave them there until they promise not to bring you down again:)
    Happy weekend!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I have to say...I just read your A-Z Challenge post for 'Z'. Fantastic!

      Hmmm. Stuffing her in a car doesn't sound half bad.... ha!

  10. I love freckles. I wish I had them. Seriously, they are sooo cute!

    Hate the inner critic. I think my biggest problem is that I KNOW what good writing is. I read good writing all the time. I can't help comparing what I read with what I write. Sometimes, I'm lucky enough to say, "Wow, I'm so glad my writing is better than that." But other times, I have to admit that I need more work. I need more practice. That's okay. I just hit novel number three and I have a long way to go before I can call myself a wordsmith. :)

    ps- glad you told IC where to get off!