It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group The awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine! This month, I will be talking about overcoming insecurity and frustration for the optional May 5 IWSG question:
Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?
I think when I published my first book, “Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who has Cancer,” my expectations were really low. In fact, I cried when I pressed the “publish” button. I was flooded with dread and anxiety because I felt like I had just put a vulnerable part of myself out there and opened myself up to criticism and rejection.
Fear and Insecurity
I was afraid to publicize the book for the same reason. I didn’t want people I knew to read my book and blow it off—or worse, hate it. I guess the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the perfect place for me.
But then, something happened.
I began to get emails. Not a ton of them, but it seemed like every couple of months one would land in my inbox telling me about how much the book helped them in very practical ways. They told me their stories and it was such an encouragement to me. I felt like it wasn’t a mistake to write the book.
Frustration with my Second Book
When I wrote Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, I worked very hard to get the formatting right. My first book had many mistakes which I would later fix in a second edition, but this book, I was going to get right from the start. It was a frustrating process, and I nearly gave up.
Ultimately, I got it published and I was so proud of it. It actually won a Gold and Silver award at the 2019 MIPA Awards. That was a surprise!
The Moral of the Story
I think the most important thing to take from this is that even when we struggle whether with the process or with our own insecurity, we all have something inside of us that can help someone else—so long as we don’t give up. Write the story. Publish the book.
What Are YOUR Thoughts?
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I am an author, writer, and speaker, and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, despite their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.