Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic.

I’m really counting on you guys today. I cannot possibly visit everyone on the list. Not anymore. So, I need you guys to step up. Visit some new blogs. Make some new friends. Connect with others. I don’t want anyone on this list to feel left out…

My post today may really surprise you.

Sometimes I read about the struggles of other writers and it’s heartbreaking. Some of you want it so bad. All you’ve ever dreamed about was becoming a published author. Writing stories is a burning desire; a part of your very being. If you fail in your endeavor, you’ll feel so incomplete…

Here is my insecurity. It’s more of a sense of guilt.

Being an author is not my dream.

Yeah, you read that right.

I’ve not spent my whole life writing. I’ve not envisioned my book on the best seller list. I’ve not dreamed of quitting my day job to write full time. I like what I do for a living! Writing was just a creative outlet. One I pursued just for the heck of it. And much to my surprise, I actually made it…

I envisioned one book – one good, solid story that would represent me. I wanted it to be epic, and although it fell short, I know people enjoyed it.

That readers wanted a second book stunned me. I had no plans for another novel. I doubted I could even write another book. Somehow, from the input of my fans I created a second story, one that my critique partners say is better than the first. My publisher echoes that thought. And yet…

Why should I be blessed with the opportunity to share two novels with the world? Getting published in the first place a stroke of luck. A second book was just a fluke. There are those of you out there with amazing voices who can’t get the attention of a publisher or agent. And it’s wrong.

Damn, I’m just Alex. I’m nobody. I’m not even a good writer. But some of you are amazing and you deserve to see your dreams come true. I feel your frustration. And I want it so bad for you…

I am sorry if I am where you want to be. I really hope you reach your goal.


133 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

I don't know what you normally, do, but as long as your happy doing it, that's all that counts. At least you accomplished a few great things, and I'm sure you feel happy about that.

Dan said...

Don't feel guilty. You earned it. I feel the same way sometimes about my day job. I'm a paramedic and sometimes-firefighter. I like my job, but I have no real passion for it. On the other hand, I work with people who spent their childhoods dreaming of doing that, and in some ways, I had a lot of successes in the field that they haven't. I'm grateful for everything I've achieved, and I've never felt entitled to anything.

So enjoy your success, and trust me, you're helping the rest of us a lot by sharing your experiences.

Good post.

Dan

Leigh Ann said...

I second Dan - never feel guilty. It's not you-or-someone else. It's having the right writing, at the right place, at the right time.

I can appreciate the strange spot you're in. Though being published wasn't always my dream, it is now. It does feel a little strange, kind of like I'm a fraud. I have to keep reminding myself - none of us are frauds. We're all on our own path.

leelikestea said...

I don't think you should feel guilty either. In fact, there is a comfort that other writers can draw from this.

I'm one of the people who does dream about writing quite a lot, and I would love nothing more than to call writing my day job. But if you flick to the 'About the Author' section of a whole host of the books that I own, you'll read about how 'so-and-so went to this University and earned a degree in English Literature and later went on to complete a Masters in Creative Writing, after a gleaming childhood of winning awards and writing for the school newspaper'. And it makes people like me feel out of place, like I can't possibly achieve what I want to achieve because I haven't really done any of these things. Sometimes I feel like you have to qualify to be a published writer.

I guess that's my insecurity.

But to read this was a comfort because you sound as if you sort of 'fell' into writing, and still you have managed to make it! Which is great! It just shows what people can do if they set their minds to it :)

Laila Knight said...

You shouldn't feel guilty, Alex. Writing might not have been your dream, and you might love your day job, but the fact that you have two books out there puts you in a position where you can instill other writers with your wisdom. Look at all you've accomplished already...this group to name one. So many writers appreciate you, myself included, just because you're here. And you're not "nobody"...you're Alex. And that makes your pretty special. :)

Isis Rushdan said...

Alex, if your book is made into a movie and you start making millions, then it's okay to feel a little guilty :).

I think it's great being writer is not your dream and that you love your day job. So many people just want to love what they do. A story came to you and you had enough faith in it to pursue it.

We all have different paths we are meant to pursue. Some of us will achieve certain goals sooner than others. Nothing wrong with that.

Please don't say you are nobody. We all count!

Tonja said...

You did the work to write two novels that were good enough to be published. Maybe the fact that you didn't feel like everything depended on it is what got you to the finish line. I hope you don't stop doing this - the blogging thing even if you don't write more novels. You are making a huge difference here.

BTW, I bought your book and M Pax's yesterday - can't wait to read them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Leigh, you're right - neither of us are frauds.

Lee, I definitely had no qualifications! And if I can do it, anyone can.

Thank you, Laila!

Isis, I'll remember that!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

You've earned this fair and square, Alex. It's good that you're able to enjoy your day job. Others (i.e. me) are only now realizing their dreams after drifting through life just doing things that came their way, but which might not have been the best thing for them to do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tonja, thank you! I appreciate the kind words and the fact you purchased my book.

Then go after your real dream, Jeffrey!

Suze said...

I think you consistently underestimate yourself, A.

Will Burke said...

Now I feel a little better about my procrastinating ;) I read about these fire-in-the-belly compulsive writers and wonder if I'm really cut out for this. You do great things supporting the community, so you have every reason to hold your head high!

damyantiwrites said...

Alex, just because you didn't dream of becoming a published author does not mean publication came to you without any effort. You deserve to be where you are.

Enjoy your blessings: you have a day job you love, and you're a published author!

Christine Danek said...

I wouldn't feel bad about it. I'd be screaming it to the world. You earned it. Be happy with what has come to you.

Rusty Webb said...

I agree with others here, just because you've had success is no reason to feel guilty. I used to dominate at Mortal Kombat. My friends would practice all week In preparation and I'd stroll over to their house on a Saturday and embarrass them all day long. They never could beat me. I never felt guilty about it - they shouldn't have challenged me.

Wait, I may be getting off topic here. The point is, you shouldn't apologize for earned success. I'm proud of you. And happy for you. The rest of us will get there one day, you're just clearing the path.

DL Hammons said...

Success cannot and should not be mitigated by motivation! You've earned what's been achieved! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Will. If I can give hope, that's good enough.

Rusty, if I could've done that with Starcraft, I'd been a happy camper.

Thanks, everyone!

Pk Hrezo said...

You are very well deserved, Alex. And you should never feel guilty for your accomplishments. It's a tough path we choose with this writing and publication dream... but it makes us stronger, better writers... so don't feel bad for us. It's frustrating at times and unfair and mind-boggling... but it makes the prize that much sweeter when we've attained the discipline necessary to reach that point.
As for you, you just keep on enjoying what you're doing and be happy. Oh and rock on, brother. ;)

lynnrush said...

Fantastic post. Thank you for it.

Arlee Bird said...

You got published and a lot of people liked what you did and are cheering you on for more. You've set an example for those who are still dreaming.

Me? I've got so many dreams that I don't know how I manage to sleep, but darn it I love to sleep.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Suzie F. said...

The way I see it Alex, you have a gift that you didn't even know was there at first. And look what happened? Not only are you published, but you give back to the writing community with your support and friendship through your blog.

Everyone's journey is different, and you've earned your success. Enjoy it :)

Bish Denham said...

As long as you enjoy the process, it is a good thing.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I love this post! I had some similar feelings - why was I published, when my friends weren't? I had one friend in particular who subbed to the same publisher at the same time, but didn't make it. The guilt! Especially since she dreamed of being a writer for so long and I was just starting out.

But we're still friends (best friends!) and even she recently said that it was a good thing she didn't get published at that point. She wasn't ready - and having watched me go through it, she saw that being published is it's own set of challenges.

We each have our own path to travel.

Ellen Brickley said...

I am a little surprised :) But it seems you pursued something and you enjoyed it and other people like what you do. I don't dream of working in an office, and yet I do - should quit in favour of someone who does dream of it?

There's room for all of us where you are, Alex. Keep us all a seat and pop the kettle on!

Will you tell us what your dream is?

Nicki Elson said...

I'll do my best to visit lots of new blogs today (I'll start from the bottom) - I didn't realize the list had grown so long! That's awesome.

Here, my dear, is why guilt is the last thing you should feel - if you hadn't written your story and been published you probably wouldn't have started this blog, right? And if you hadn't started this blog you wouldn't be out here doing so, so, SO very much to support ALL of us writers. You're an a amazing asset to the community, and I don't think one person here could begrudge you your success. It was meant to be.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Oh, Alex, don't feel guilty about your success. Embrace it and view it as a gift to the world. Your success is an inspiration to other writers and artists. You never really know the path that's meant for you. Appreciate that you haven't felt that angst!

Super Happy Jen said...

Don't feel guilty. HELP me! How in the heck do I get MY book published. Make this all about me. (Because it is, always).

oceangirl said...

Wow that is a lot of blogs to visit and comment. It is a struggle just to scroll down to comment. You have done so well, not just with your writing but building a community. Congratulations. I did not see guilt in your post, I saw just do it and you can.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Don't worry Alex. Some of us who have been dreaming for a long time have been dreaming without sitting our butts in a chair and doing the writing. Or wait, maybe that's just been me. Sure, I can say I've been dreaming of writing since 6th grade, but out of all the years in between, if I add all the times I actually spent the time writing needed, I would get maybe 6 years total . . .hmm, a lot more time daydreaming that actual writing.

Enjoy your job, enjoy your writing, and don't feel guilty.

Matthew MacNish said...

There's not a damn thing wrong with that. You're one of the kindest, most giving people around. Sometimes the universe gives back. You deserve your success Alex, but you're too humble for pride, which isn't a bad thing.

Jennee said...

Great post Alex, and that's awesome that you "fell" into something that you are good at. People do that all the time. I hate to cook but I fell into being a cook because I'm naturally good at it. It's not my passion or my dream, but I know I'm good at it. The same for you and your writing...don't feel guilty for a natural ability, embrace it.

Ella said...

It is a double edged sword this guilt! I am so glad you pursued your creative hobby! I think a lot of really great books have come from people just like you! Don't be embarrassed. I do understand the guilt, but your story needed to be told. No one understands the laws of the universe, yet.. You are a genuine, it was your time! Those friends, not their time yet...
You are sharing your gift! Let's hope that everyone finds their moment in the sun or the lunar eclipse. Thanks for being you. I have a new name for you, "Authentic Alex"! :D

Old Kitty said...

I want to give you a great big hug!!

<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>!

So there!! Take care
x

Jessica Bell said...

Don't ever feel guilty about your successes. Wear them proud whether you had intended them to be or not. And you ARE a great writer and great supporter. Look what you've achieved here with this blog alone!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pk, I'm rocking on!

Lee, sleeping is a dream as well.

Susan, then you know how I feel.

Ellen, rock star! But without the lifestyle.

Nicki, you're right - I wouldn't be here otherwise.

Jen, that's funny!

Thanks, Matthew.

Jennee, not sure it's even an ability, but it just is.

Ella, thanks, I like that name.

And Kitty, I'll always take a hug from you.

Thanks everyone for your awesome words.

Stephen Tremp said...

No need to feel guilty. Published or self published, its all good. Of course, a nice contract with one of the New Your Big Six and a movie deal would be nice! Good luck with your upcoming book CassaFire!

Southpaw said...

What a sweet post. Can I say that? Well, it is.

Insecurities suck.

I think it's fantastic you wrote a sequel where one wasn't planned. that's gotta be tough - but you did it.

Barbara Kloss said...

What a great post! But you shouldn't feel guilty.

I also have not spent my whole life writing and I like what I do for a living, too - writing is MY creative outlet as well. And I've found that to be a blessing because writing IS so subjective, and it would be difficult to swallow the lack of success if I put my entire sense of worth in my books. (Not that everyone does.)

It encourages me that you are able to share your "creative outlet," and people want you to continue sharing. And how much time you spend building up others! (don't know HOW you manage the time!) I don't know about deserving or not deserving, but you're doing it, and doing it well!

L.C. Frost said...

Aw, I don't think any of us dreamers would ever begrudge success in this field. You don't make it unless you earn it, and you've earned it, sir.

You're not just Alex. You're Captain Ninja Alex. Hellllooo. :-)

Jamie Burch said...

Don't feel guilty! You put in the time and hard work to be where you're at. I'm glad you're here! You are very supportive of your fellow writers and bloggers.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I don't think you should ever apologize for doing something great. We all have a shot. We all need to take it and then take responsibility for the outcome.
If you are happy then we are happy for you.
HMG

Summer Ross said...

Alex- wow- I had no idea you felt like this. You should not apologize for your own accomplishments or feel guilt because of them. they are still apart of you and you should be very proud of yourself for that. You are an amazing person.

Sangu said...

You shouldn't feel guilty, Alex - you earned this with your hard work and persistence and you deserve it! Besides, where would the rest of us be without the Ninja Army? :-)

Michael Offutt said...

Oh the irony. But congratulations on your success :)

Jen Chandler said...

There is nothing to feel guilty about. What's important is that you spend your days doing something you love. That you wanted to write a book, create a good, solid story and that it worked isn't a fluke. At least, I don't think so. You should be proud!

As for the rest of us, we just have to keep honing our skills, working hard to create the best story we can create and get it in the right hands.

It won't be easy, but it will be worth it!

~Jen

Nadja Notariani said...

Not to make light of your post....
but it's what I do....

Are you Jewish? Ha! I had to ask, as we're in the Ten Days Of T'Shuvah leading up to Yom Kippur...and guilt is something I've got the corner on. Back up!!

Seriously, don't feel guilty for succeeding. Ever. Do what you love and let the chips fall where they may. ~ Nadja

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I agree with all the other comments stating that you shouldn't feel guilty about your success. Every one of us has his or her own path, his or her own book (or books) to write, and his or her own time for success (whatever that means). But I will admit that I envy your more casual attitude about being an author. : )

Helen Ginger said...

Face it, Alex, you're a sweetie to worry about others. Enjoy this time and write the sequel - and probably the sequel of the sequel. Readers are waiting.

Christopher Hudson said...

Geez Alex ... as my daddy used to say, 'you really put the slop down where the hogs could get at it.' I appreciate your honesty ... and, yes, you are where I'd like to be.

Nancy Thompson said...

Oh man, no need to feel guilty. We don't resent your success, we applaud it. It's what gives us hope. Like you, I never had that lifelong dream to write. I didn't work years at the craft. I just had an idea & wrote it down. It just turns out I really like this gig, but I'm kind of an old broad, just shy of 48, so I'm coming to the party a little late. Your journey inspires me, and many others, I suspect, so no worries!

Mark Noce said...

Well, at least you're honest. In some ways it' healthy to want to be more than one thing anyhow:) My fears are less writing based anyhow...i.e. will the plumbing continue to work in my house, etc. ;)

Melissa Bradley said...

I thought my comment came through, but I guess it didn't. I said that I really love the support you show for all of us and how much you want our dreams to come true. No matter how we get here on this path of writing, we have all heard the call of the Muse and though it may take come of us longer, I believe we will all get our voices heard.

Green Monkey said...

so far, I can't get the linky tool to work. If you click on GREEN MONKEY TALES it directs you to google. What can I say... I'm a dumb ass. But I did do my post today, despite the fact that I just heard a friend died. I guess I'm good with self imposed assignments.

Saumya said...

You are more than deserving, Alex. Dreams can take on various forms and a creative outlet can take us places. You worked hard to write your books (and I'm loving your first one, by the way...actually keep it at my family's house so I can focus on studying while I'm at school). We couldn't be happier for you!!

Patricia Lynne said...

Aww come on, there's no reason to feel that bad. Everyone's struggles are different. Some seem to have it easy, while others slog through the muck. How about instead of feeling guilty, you just keep inspiring people w/ your success? =D

KH LeMoyne said...

Life has no time for guilt. Especially for successes, so good job and enjoy. I suspect many published authors don't sit down intending to make a career or continue past book one. Thanks for the insights.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Alex...I may have to join this support group. Here are my thoughts.

Getting published is harder and harder and at the same time becoming easier. It depends on your point of view. For years I tried to find a publisher for my fantasy, The Treasures of Carmelidrium. What I realized only in the past year was that I have a YA voice but my characters are older. Just this year, publishers added a new genre, 'Young Adult.' This is YA, and the characters are in college, 20 something. This is my book. But by then I had self published online. I like that I can control my own fate. Life currently is chaotic, so writing is slow going, but eventually I'll get a rhythm and finished the many stories in my head.

Cheers,
Nancy
N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What I think is really cool is that you have lots of different things that you're interested in and are good at. No need for guilt!

Rachel Morgan said...

Whether it was your dream or not, I'm sure you still had to work SERIOUSLY hard to produce not one, but two books. Go you! (and thanks for your encouragement on my daily word quota during my teeny, tiny school holiday!)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Alex, YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD GUY! No guilt needed. You deserve all your successes and more. You are an exceptional writer and person.
xoRobyn

~Sia McKye~ said...

Writing a novel for publication hasn't always been my dream either. Granted, I've always written and told stories but mostly they were for me or family. My sis and I talked about *one day* writing a Harlequin Romance because we read enough of them when we were younger to come up with all sorts of story lines, lol!

The desire to be published has been a goal in the last few years. I'll get there.

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

Cold As Heaven said...

Getting two novels published on top of a day time job makes it even more impressive.

Cold As Heaven

Jessica Salyer said...

Alex, as cheesy as this sounds, I believe everything happens to us for a reason. Maybe your reason was so that you could spread your knowledge, love, and wisdom to all of us. Since I started blogging, you have been one of the most welcoming, helpful people. You have nothing to feel guilty for. If you weren't so nice I might have to hate you though. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, I'd be happy with a movie deal.

Southpaw, it wasn't easy!

Barbara, thanks for the kind words.

Summer, I appreciate that.

Cynthia, if it had never happened, I would've been okay with it.

Nancy, you're no later than I am!

Green Monkey, I'm sorry! And I'll fix your link.

Saumya, thanks - glad you're enjoying it!

You're welcome, Rachel.

Robyn, you are a sweet woman.

Jessica, at least YOU were honest!

Thanks everyone. Now I feel guilty that I feel guilty...

Charlie Pulsipher said...

What?! Not your dream!! Yeah, I might kick you now...or go gnaw on something.

But, really, don't feel guilty. I wouldn't feel guilty being a movie star or an austronaut or an nobel prize winning biochemist when I originally wanted to be a writer. It's a lot of hard work to write a novel. I cannot begrudge you success when you managed to do so. Congrats and I hope you continue to live my...erm...your dream.

Donna Shields said...

Don't you ever feel guilty. You have an enormous following. Your fans love you. I can only hope the same for myself.

Caitlin said...

I don't think you have any reason to feel guilty. You've earned your success and worked hard for it! Sometimes things happen in life, we end up doing jobs that we never thought we'd do or live in places that we never thought we'd be. Don't be sorry, be proud!

Siobhan said...

I think you make a good point. Sometimes when you want something so bad, that your entire existence depends on it--and it doesn't happen--then you end up feeling like a failure. Getting published is out of one's control. Someone once told me that in order to get published all you need is 1)A book 2)Persistence 3)Luck. I think #3 is the significant word. It's a good thing to hope and work hard, but I'm starting to enjoy my writing again because I'm just focusing one writing good stories with good characters. Thank you for the post.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I think we can all agree that you've worked very hard for your success. I still don't know how you find the time to sleep. I admire you for always finding ways to help others in the writing process. Your support is invaluable, and you are a good writer! Julie

RaShelle Workman said...

Alex - you rock. Your book rocks. You are where you are for a reason. Enjoy it. =D

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I agree that you're 'just Alex' but that's precisely why you're NOT a nobody, and I think the entire of the ninja army would agree with me on that. A fluke it may have been, but you've tapped into something awesome, so don't let it stop :)

Caledonia Lass said...

Awww. :( But you shouldn't feel guilty for being successful at something. Even if it wasn't your dream or goal.
I'm very proud of you and if you hadn't published, would we have met through the blogging world? I don't know. But I like to think that the one thing we having in common, writing, is what introduced us and you are a most valuable asset to anyone out there who is writing.

<3

And I am going to start in the middle of the list today and visit blogs I did not visit last time!

Laura Eno said...

I think your attitude is what everyone should strive for, writer or otherwise. You sound like you enjoy life, in all its many different aspects. People gravitate toward you because of it. Maybe we should all rub your head for luck. :)

Suzanne Korb said...

um

kelly said...

I'm glad you posted this because it's encouraging to people like me. Everywhere I turn I see things like, "you're not a writer unless it's something you HAVE to do, it's been burning in your bones, and you will go through a hundred rejections and keep doing it."

I'm not that. I actually think writing is hard. So I've felt like maybe I should give up. After all, it's going to stay hard, right? And I don't have the burning in my bones to ONLY be a writer. I actually like to do a lot of other things. If you ask me what I will naturally gravitate toward doing when I want to do something fun, it would be photography and photoshop work.

BUT I am a good writer, and as my husband says I have a unique POV, so he says I owe it to readers to be able to curl up with my book.

I actually think writing a book will be even more of a struggle for me than for most "writers," and the temptation to give up will be greater.

To know that you can still write and be published even if it's not burning in your bones is extremely encouraging.

Nate Wilson said...

My dream has never been to be an author, either. My dream is early retirement. For a short while, I naïvely believed the former might lead to the latter, but now I'm happy just to write. The stories in my head need to be told. Otherwise I'll just seem like madman laughing to myself.

M Pax said...

Writers are people who write no matter how they come to it. The arts seem to be in your blood. I look forward to your next novel. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Feel no guilt. You're worked hard and been an inspiration to many. And thanks for creating this blog hop.

Sarah McCabe said...

I couldn't live without writing, but doing it as a career is not my first priority in life. My primary vocation is my family, which is why I always say that I am first and foremost a wife and mother. Then I'm a writer.

The Golden Eagle said...

Don't feel guilty. If you enjoy the writing, then go for it--and I actually think that when the writing isn't absolutely everything, it's a good thing. It's a balance.

L'Aussie said...

Nice self depreciating post Alex. Who cares if writing wasn't your dream, your focus! Great that your little creative outlet led to success. And success breeds success so go suck it up!

Denise

Sarah Pearson said...

You being published doesn't stop anyone else achieving their dream. Enjoy it, you've earned it.

Ciara said...

Thank you. For a moment I thought about my dream. You see, in the last few days the dream was gone. It was all about numbers and why can't I get my book noticed. Yet, that's not what this was ever about. I've had stories I wanted to share. To touch a reader. It was never about the success but about the expression.

I loved CassaStar. You can never apologize for sharing such a great story with others.

L.G.Smith said...

Yeah, it's interesting, because I sat in on an agent workshop at a recent conference, and she made sure to emphasize that just because someone else got a publishing deal or an agent it doesn't take anything away from anyone else. It's not a finite quantity. There's enough for everyone, if they have the talent and the perseverance. Obviously you've got the talent!

Whew, it took me awhile to get through posts today. I don't know how you do it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Charlie, now that I've met so many awesome people online, I think that dream has altered.

Siobhan, you should just enjoy it!

Jamie, thanks a bunch!

Laura, next you'll be rubbing balloons on my head for the static!

Kelly, glad I could encourage you then! And photography work sounds like a lot of fun as well.

Sarah, and that is a noble position!

Denise, I'll just suck it up...

Ciara that's it - the expression!

Dafeenah said...

I completely understand and feel very similar. My reasons for writing a book have nothing to do with being an "author". I'm sorry I'm a bit late this month, but hopefully not too late. I'll be getting around to visiting people later on today. Thanks again for having this. It's really a wonderful thing!!

Liza said...

What a lovely, refreshing post! You ARE a good writer Alex, you just happen to be fortunate that you have other things in life that complete you, and you recognize it. You deserve every success that comes your way, you work hard and you give back. Kudos to you.

Lynda R Young said...

You not thinking you are a good writer surprised me. It's rubbish, of course. You are a great writer with a skill for writing real characters.

Charlie said...

Alex, I'd love to participate and I love meeting new like-minded writers.

jbchicoine said...

I've always enjoyed writing, but getting published simply became the logical follow through for all the time I've spent. I don't have huge aspirations beyond getting published, be it traditionally or independently. I can't afford to have too much emotionally vested in my 'success' (or lack thereof) afterward.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dafeenah, that's all right. I'm just glad so many are enjoying the support group.

Liza and Lynda, thanks so much.

Charlie, there's a whole slew of us out there!

Elliot Grace said...

...I've been following your support group throughout blogland, Alex, and wanted to drop by and express the importance of what you're doing. This was a fantastic idea!

I believe you've proven that you're more than just Alex...not to mention that you're a quality storyteller as well ;)

Thanks so much for following my tour, I'm humbled at your gesture.

El

Lydia Kang said...

Thank you for being honest. Everyone's path and goals in writing aren't meant to be the same.
:)

D.G. Hudson said...

It always helps to know there is sympathy somewhere out there.

I've visited Sommer's blog, and will try to catch a few others.

Hosting blogfests makes you a good guy in my books.

Jeremy Bates said...

heres what steve jobs said to a group of stanford grads in 2005, and i think its appropriate for anyone in the writing biz:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

laughingwolf said...

thx alex... :)

the world likes trilogies, especially hollyweird, it seems... so, just do it :D

one comes immediately to mind: asimov's 'the foundation trilogy'

Enid Wilson said...

There is no need to be guilty of success. And you're helping a lot of aspiring authors too.

Every Savage Can Reproduce

WritingNut said...

Hey Alex, so sorry I'm late stopping by... today was one of those days.

You should never, ever feel guilty.. you definitely deserve to be where you are, and don't ever say you're nobody. You're definitely somebody special.. always inspiring and encouraging others, and we're all so lucky to have you in our lives :)

And it's okay if being an author isn't or wasn't your dream... sometimes things find you rather than the other way round...but I am glad you like your day job, makes a big difference.

And dude, what's this nonsense about not being a good writer? The book with your name on it sitting on my shelf begs otherwise.

Susan Fields said...

You say you're not even a good writer, but I find that very hard to believe - the fans wouldn't have asked for a second book if that were the case!

Kari Marie said...

Don't feel guilty. The great thing about writers is that by and large, they are a tough group. We persevere and rejoice in the success of other writers. Clearly you are a talented writer! I look forward to reading the next novel.

DiscConnected said...

Alex-

I think it was Edison that said "success is ten percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration."

When it comes to the arts, there's talent (you have creativity or you don't), honing your craft (you can make yourself a better writier)dedication (you gotta write), and finally a whole lotta luck.

A whole lot of amazing writers never get published, a lot of great musicians don't get signed, and whole lot of potential goes unrealized, and it's life.

Don't feel guilty-feel blessed (or lucky, if that better suits your spiritual inner dialog).

Besides, Alex-you're a Cavanaugh! The rest of the world just wishes they were!

That Other Cavanaugh

Reka Sang said...

Wanting other writer friends to succeed is all good but why the hell should you be sorry for your success?...yes, it's true a lot of good writers slip by unnoticed; unsung but that's life in its grey glory, not always black and white for you. You are giving back in your own way, not many do that.

And not all of us dreamt of being writers from out mother's womb itself...some were told they had it in them, some just discovered themselves along the way...some tried as they do any good thing and found their niche.

The fun is in trying, it gets frustrating when you see some mediocre work raking money because it is a celebrity or publisher pet project, but then nice ones do finish last but the point is we make it to the end.

For me writing was something I loved but private, my therapy...its only recently that its become sharing with the world and the itch to get noticed started kicking in. Have to blame my brother and fellow bloggers for waking up the perfectly satisfied, hibernating tiger. ;)

Leovi said...

I think you should not feel guilty for having written and published two books without having previously dreamed about it. Dreams are one thing and another effort.

Madeleine said...

Your comment: Damn, I’m just Alex. I’m nobody. I’m not even a good writer. So rings true with me too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Elliot!

Thanks, DG.

WritingNut, that you have my book makes me feel good!

Larry, that's true!

Reka, maybe that describes me as well.

Amy said...

I agree with some of the others, you shouldn't feel guilty that your published. Your book is amazing and I look forward to reading the sequel! Thank you for sharing your woes, it's nice to know we writers aren't alone. :)

Brianna said...

I appreciate that you recognize the struggles of your fellow writers, but as others have commented, you shouldn't feel guilty for your success!

Talli Roland said...

I think that's probably a very good thing, Alex! Very healthy, and it means you can write without feeling the same weight of pressure to 'make it'.

Clarissa Draper said...

When I was younger, I never wanted to be a writer. I wasn't even much of a reader. But then, the stories came. I don't think every writers knows they want to be a writer from an early age. I wasn't one.

The Old Silly said...

What a refreshingly candid post! But I think you underestimate yourself, my friend. ;-)

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

I think the best paths in life start from a creative outlet. And if it turns out that it "just" happened -- it was definitely meant to be!
You are amazingly down-to-earth and that's very inspiring.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

eh, i don't think you should feel guilty about that. I mean, i can sing fairly well, but i don't want to be a singer. Doesn't mean i should feel guilty for all those people trying to make it on American Idol. I honestly believe if those of us who want this work hard enough, we'll get there. Everyone has their own journey

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amy, and I hope you enjoy the second one!

Talli, that's true.

Clarissa, that's good to know I'm not the only one.

Hannah Kincade said...

They say you change what you want to do at least 3 times in your life. I've done that, but through it all there has been fiction. It's my thing. I am just now finally embracing it.

It's all about drive, motivation and just making time for what you really want. You took the time, put in the effort, sprinkled it with some marvelous talent and now, you better eat that cake!! ;)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Mo guilt - just enjoy it! Some people struggle hard for something while others don't. Just the way life is.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I'm speechless, Alex. You are someone, you're an Alex! ;)

Congrats on your double fluke. You're a light unto the world whether you've asked for it or not. Wield it well, brother!


♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

Michael Di Gesu said...

Alex, I think you stunned most of us, but not in the way you think.

Your heart is why people love you. Your attentiveness to other's feelings, your sensitivity to other's pain, and your dedication to this community makes you a humanitarian and a damn good writer!

Just organizing INSECURE WRITERS, shows us how truly special you are to us.

Laura said...

... yes, but do you know how much it helps the rest of us that you are there, that you have done it... and that you brought one ( and soon to be a second) fab story into our lives. Good for you to both enjoy yourself in your job and being creative as well. Don't feel the guilt - enjoy being where you are for the rest of us that will join you soon... ish:)

Copyboy said...

Dude I'm so jealous that you've achieved what most of us wish we could do. I admire you for that. Oh and how you get everyone involved in your blog posts. Very impressive!

Carrie said...

I don't think you should feel guilty about the success of your book. You've done a lot to help promote other writers and to help bloggers connect with each other. Those connections could lead to another writer seeing their dreams come true.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hannah, fortunately I like cake!

Elizabeth - speechless?

Michael, thanks - I really appreciate that.

Laura, and you will join me soon!

Copyboy, I'd say it's because chicks dig me, but no, not really...

Nezzy said...

Don't apologize for your talent Man!!! Just look at the writin' spirits you lifted with this one post!!!

Would ya look at this long list of talented authors??? Woohoo!!!

God bless ya and have an incredible day!!! :o)

Jolene Perry said...

Alex - the first book i wrote was a fluke. I didn't start it thinking that I'd write a whole book. My second was just published. And I'm slowly, starting to live a dream I didn't realize I wanted until I finished that first book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nezzy, thanks.

Jolene, I know where you are coming from...

She Writes said...

um, this seems to be catching on, alex! I like a little humility :)!

Eve.E said...

Hi Alex,
Thankyou so much for stopping by my blog and for your very kind words of support. What you are doing is awesome!!
EVE xoxo

Amity said...

Finally am back and am home Alex...am sooooo late now...nevertheless, better late than never...:)

I could simply smile at your humbleness, with the so many things you didn't dream of but had happened to you!

I am happy for you! Coz even though you've not wanted to have a book and you did and that's simply a blessing for you or shall I say, it was written in the stars that Alex J. Cavanaugh will become a bestseller published author! Cheers Alex!

To tell you, I have dreamed of becoming one, I have started making a plot of my dream novel, i have started writing several chapters, but sadly, it ended there, nothing happened...meaning I am not cut to be a published author! :( Sad isn't it!

So, congrats Alex and never be insecure! You were born to be a writer and that's the reality...:)

On your second book, I wish you all the best!

How I wish I could have a copy of both coz until now I haven't bought your Cassastar and Cassafire is almost at the bookstore again...:)

I tip my hats off to you Alex for your achievements!

Amity said...

I guess I commented here last night? Where has my comment gone Alex?

Whewww...kinda hard to recall what I have written here first...but let me try again...

I guess I said, "Alex, you don't need to be guilty, because you were born a writer, and it was written in the stars, and well....isn't that great and nothing to be guilty about?"

There are others like me, whose trying but ended up with nothing to be proud of..I mean, I started writing a plot of a novel I dreamed of writing, I started writing several chapters of it...but until now, nothing happened...while with you...it came too easy for you, what with the second sequel coming out so soon...:)

Don't be guilty...:) Enjoy the dizzying sensation, heights and popularity of being a published author and enjoy being an Alex J. Cavanaugh...:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

She Writes, hope that's a good thing.

Eve, Glad you're part of the group!

Amity, thank - you are a master with words!

Shah Wharton said...

Oh damn it - I entered the wrong link and the wrong title. I've taken far too much cold remedy - well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! Please remove number 180 ;)

And I really sorry!

Shah. X

Brinda said...

I joined too late for the Oct. post, but it's better to be late than never!

Laura Lee said...

I'm pleased to have discovered the insecure writer's support group a week late, and completely not understanding how to participate. I related to your idea of feeling like you have a problem that struggling writers might not understand. I have been dealing with something similar. I've written more than a dozen non-fiction books, so I do not have what I would consider to be unrealistic ideas of the publishing world. I've just published my first novel, which is a different type of work for me. It was ten years in the making, and the idea that I ought to write a novel is something that's been with me most of my life. I feel as though it is the best work that I have been capable of up to this point and it has been getting fairly good feedback overall. What's the problem, right? Here it is: I've spent most of my adult life with this particular goal, and this dream of accomplishing this particular thing and now the book has come out and what has happened? Exactly what one should expect to happen. Nothing. Nothing at all. My life is exactly the same. People say "you must be excited" but what I've been feeling is depressed. This is something that it is hard to get sympathy or understanding for because it is not what is "supposed to" happen. Anyway, I've been wishing I had a writer in my life who understood this experience. The existential crisis of having finished and published the long gestating novel.

Hart Johnson said...

Hey! Thanks for this blogfest, Alex-It's a great one! I think Edi was the only one I wasn't following, but I loved getting to see your new trailer! (so is Byron going to get lucky?) *ducks*