Wow, I need to post news updates more often! You guys really rocked the house on Monday.
I’m hoping you do the same today, because I have a most awesome guest.
Many of you have joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. (Don’t forget we post next Wednesday!) And behind every great endeavor is the spark of an idea.
My guest today sparked the idea for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. During an email exchange with this author, I stated that if there were such a group, he’d be an honorary member.
Ironically though, this author should be anything BUT insecure. (If he’s neurotic, that’s out of my control.) I’ve read a ton of books over the years, and every now and then I stumble upon an author who is pure genius. One whose words strike all the right chords. One whose words resonate. One whose characters will stay with you for a very long time…
My guest today is Rusty Webb, an amazing critique partner, damned good writer, and really excellent friend.
Hi everyone. Alex has once again been kind enough to allow me to post something for you. He suggested that I talk about writers being neurotic.
Well, sounds good to me, I figured it might be necessary to determine my current state of mental well-being. It might be better if I asked my wife.
"Am I neurotic?"
Silence. Not a good sign. I counted to five and spoke again.
"Did you hear me?"
She shifted a bit and stared at her new purse.
"Sweetie?" I asked again.
"No," she said. "You are not neurotic... but you do have issues."
"Oh," I said. "Issues, eh? Do you still love me?"
"Okay then, this interview is over."
And there you have it. My wife's assessment. I was out of the room and back on my laptop before she could say anything else. She was probably done anyway.
So, with my sanity assured, what does that mean about the larger issue of writers and their issues? Well, I’ll say this. When you write, the closest thing I can compare it to is being a contestant in beauty pageant. You know, you think you look good, your friends say you look good. But until you’re standing there, dressed in your bathing suit in front of the whole world, being judged, you just don’t know.
I think it’s that not knowing that can make otherwise normal people get weird. You write, and then you hope your friends aren’t a bunch of liars. It’s the not knowing that drives you crazy.
I’ve had the privilege of reading Rusty’s unpublished novel, as well as his novella, Dead God’s Wrath. Dude, it’s time you knew the truth – you are an incredible writer.
Visit Rusty’s site - The Blutonian Death Egg
Anyone else feeling neurotic? Struggle with similar issues? Fighting with not knowing? Just need a hug? (Ninjas give awesome hugs - just ask my wife!)
Just in need of a Hug, though I don't like to be touched... I am Neurotic that way. Great Words Rusty.
Great Post as always Alex, bringing the world such wonderful things.
ps. Virtual Hugs Welcome!
This was way cool. And I think being neurotic does not preclude sanity.
Don't we all have "issues"?
Great post, could do with a hug, I'm in the middle of my second book and the problems I am experiencing is unbelieveable.
Loved the post - great husband-wife interaction.
In my past life of normal work, we only got feedback if we were really screwing up - except for that once a year performance eval where the manager was encouraged not to give anyone an exceptional evaluation because it might make the workers complacent.
Good morning. I loved this interview with Rusty. But doesn't being neurotic go hand in hand with being a writer? And I'm looking forward to getting an ereader so I can read Rusty's book. Also, if you're giving away hugs, I'm always a willing recipient. :) And out of curiousity, is that Rusty's picture?
Don't worry Jeremy, I won't hug you.
Yvonne, I'm sorry! You are hugged.
Tonja, that is just messed up.
Laila, you're hugged as well! And yes, that is the real Rusty.
I give great hugs and don't charge for them either! LOL! I'm JOKING! But I do give yummy hugs!
Kidding aside - I never ever let friends read my work but get informed recommended strangers to do this and have the honest answer! Oh but I do need to grow ten (at least) thick skins first! Which brings me running to friends for hugs!
I'm always in need of a hug. And I often feel neurotic and so do I. Good luck to rusty. He's a great human being and an awesome blogger!
Oh I enjoyed this interview. Rusty explained it so well. I plan to check out the novella. Thank you Rusty, thank you Alex. I'll take a rain cheque.
Cool cover for A Dead God's Wrath
I'm neurotic and I don't even write! Does that count??
I find my characters have issues, and then I mirror them in real life. Not good when my current character is a narcisistic sociopath!
Whoa! Have I ever mentioned that I don't have a good mechanism for handling praise? I want to run away and scream that I suck. My wife did mention I had issues, maybe I should follow up on that.
Thanks for the opportunity Alex, and thanks for the kind words everyone. Way better than I deserve.
Hi Alex and Rusty .. fun read - we all go there don't we - thankfully I have no husband sitting on the bed changing his pocket contents to new trousers!!
Excellent you've both got books out there .. you can't let go now - here's to success .. Hilary
I don't think of myself as neurotic, but I am convinced that I suck and it's only a matter of time before everyone else agrees with me. Wow, what does that say? Sounds like I should be in therapy.
Love the post and it's great to meet you, Rusty.
I think as writers we all tend to be neurotic at times. It's the nature of the biz.
Thanks Rusty. Thanks Alex.
My issues have issues! :)
Nice to meet you Rusty! Any friend of Alex...
Ha! Never ask a question you don't want to know the answer to.
Writer = neurotic. But crazy is just the pick-up truck we drive our creativity around in. :)
Great analogy about the beauty pageant. That is spot on.
Thanks for sharing with us today.
I'm too screwed up to label myself any more.
As Carrie Fisher says: I'm not a box. I don't have sides. This is it. One side fits all.
I don't even have time anymore to ask questions like that. With the amount of professionals on my medical roster the answer is now pretty much a foregone conclusion.
...and i will have to check out this 'insecure writers' thingy of which you speak. cause you know, i'm still practicing what i call the the 'dickinson method' of writing- in which everything i write goes into a trunk for my progeny to then decide at some point in the future if it is, in fact, all utter garbage or worth a scan through.
heck, if i print it out, at least they'll have kindling should they ever need a fire to keep warm.
Oh, I would say I am definitely neurotic. Loved the interchange between Rusty and his wife. It could have been in my household as well. As I get older, my neurosis is less of an issue. Rusty, you sound like a lovely man who has found a partner who accepts him just as he is. Alex, can I have a hug from a ninja?
Interesting. I'll check out his website. Great title for it, btw.
Kitty, your hugs are always free as well.
Stephen, he is!
Ricky, Rusty did the cover himself!
Gail, it counts.
Rusty, bull! And get used to praise.
Melissa, therapy is next Wednesday.
DL, that sounds serious.
Bru, please join us!
Karen, consider yourself hugged!
Hugs are cool, instant stress busters for a disconnected person. Don't know about neurotic.
I feel disconnected a lot of the time. Friends and family are good for ego boasting not reality pinches, especially in my case where creative is in every fellow gene carrier but none of them write.
Interesting interaction between him and the wife and fascinating blog. title
Rusty's awesome. Thanks for having him on, Alex.
I ask my dog, Maggie, if I'm neurotic and all she does is give me a look that says: Can I have a treat? I guess I'll never know.
Reka hugs are good for that as well.
Pat, Maggie would probably say no.
Oooh I love networking with Rusty. And you're right, he is a great writer.
Oh Rusty...I think the issues come first, and then the writing. And yes, the issues are exacerbated by the writing process, but my money is on them being there first. How else could we write pain and complexity so easily?
Issues are essential for a writer. For me, apparently, it is essential for an interesting relationship as well.
I...um. Yeah. I'm probably neurotic. Let's be honest, here.
Also, The Blutonian Death Egg is probably the best blog title ever. Kudos to Rusty. :-)
This was awesome. You weren't kidding about Rusty.
Also, thanks for the Insecure Writer's reminder. I probably would've forgotten in all the NaNo craze
I love Rusty's blog - the storm trooper pics were priceless :)
Any and all hugs would be welcome. Thanks for splashing Rusty's neurotic quirks on the page!
Loved this. The conversation between Rusty and his wife just sounds so much like conversations I've had with my significant other.
I also loved the idea that writers are like beauty pageant contestants. It's very true.
oh, wait - so are you saying that having issues is an issue???
Funny you should talk about sanding in your bathing suit. I often liken my insecurities to standing naked in a crowd of people. Great Post.
Nice to meet you Rusty! Rad looking books...and "no" there's nothing wrong with being a bit neurotic;)
Great post Rusty...except I'm suddenly seized with that panicky feeling that it's time to change my purse for a more fall purse and I'm pretty sure I don't have time for that project today....no, not neurotic, OCD maybe, okay maybe neurotic too ;)
Looking forward to the next round of IWG posts Alex!
Never ask a question that you don't want to hear the answer to, is my rule -- I'm not sure I'd want to hear what my own Sweetie really thinks about me, and I'm REALLY sure that I don't want her to actually start thinking about what she really thinks about me.
I'm not really neurotic, or maybe I am. I'm not really sure what "neurotic" means and I'm too lazy to go look it up. Judging by Rusty's post (Rusty is an awesome writer; I just finished his book, "A Dead God's Wrath," and it was phenomenal -- I read it in one sitting and I urge all of you to stop reading MY comment and go buy his book, read it and then come back.
... Okay. I think I need to end a parentheses here, so let's go: )
Anyway, I'm not neurotic in that I write what I like and don't worry if someone doesn't like it (much). I do worry sometimes that people aren't READING it, so I like hit counters and sales figures. But I write for myself and then share that with the world.
And Rusty, you ought not to worry so much. Issues or not, you're a great writer.
Neurotic? Heck, I'm downright crazy ... but I've learned to love it!
Christa, good point!
Sarah, I won't let you forget.
Johanna, that's funny it's a project!
Briane, that was great!
Wow, Alex! With compliments like yours, I've just got to read his stuff. Heading over to Rusty's site now! Thanks.
Love the dialogued exchange with your wife. All we need to know is that we're still loved, despite our neurosis! Write on!
Well, my wife tells me often that I'm a neurotic, perhaps it's true.
Being neurotic is sort of like having a broken toe. It's gets you about the same amount of sympathy, too. And, really, there's nothing anyone can do about it except leave it alone and hope that heals decently. You -could- have a cast put on it, but that's just going to call attention to it, and, if you need attention for a broken toe, that's probably a neurosis in and of itself.
So big deal if you're neurotic. Most of us are probably neurotic in some way or another. At least, that's what therapists would want us to believe.
Never, ever ask my wife about my "issues." I'm not sure she'd stop.
And just FYI, at $0.99, no one has an excuse for not buying Rusty's book. And being just a novella, no one has an excuse not to read it. It's well worth the time and money he's asking for it.
Even I'm dog-tired, I enjoyed the post.
Neurotic? No,I'm neither neurotic nor normal. I'm different - whatever does this mean ....
LOL - constantly neurotic. The beauty contestant comparison is so apt. I've come to the conclusion that if you're a writer and you're not a little neurotic/have issues then there's something wrong with you!
I am not neurotic. My husband is not neurotic either. We are very boring and stable. Is that such a bad thing? ;) ~ Dani
We are all individuals...except me which must make me neurotic which means I am like everyone else...which means..I am not an individual...I must get off the spinning top of neurotic thoughts:) Oh an everyone needs a hug but if i see a cute little bear with a heart on its chest I shall thump it
RaShelle, he's awesome!
Andrew, it's a bargain at that price.
Edi, I call that unique!
glad we arent alone in our neurosis
cant believe october is almost over! slow down, old geezer time!
I don't think my husband would say I was neurotic. A bundle of nervous energy, maybe!
Nice to meet you, Rusty. I'm not familiar with your work but if Alex recommends you, well, I'm off to buy a copy.
A bit of reassurance usually helps a lot.
Issues? what issues? Writers don't have issues. We have creative angst. ;)
Good post, Alex and Rusty. As for the neurotic thing, I 'spect it's not normally a great idea to ask a question unless you can handle the answer. :-)
This interview is great. And you are a fabulous friend for featuring him on your blog. :)
Great post for this totally neurotic writer!
I think the only thing I'm truly neurotic over is my children. I'm a bit of a helicopter mom. I'm trying to change that so they can be more independent.
And my 9yr old daughter changes her purses all the time. But she doesn't tell me I'm neurotic, she tells me I'm weird. :)
I loved a Dead God's Wrath. Great read.
Hahaha! Yeah. I'm totally in the right place. Neurotic, issues... same difference. ;)
Great post. I have got to read this book because I hear so much about it. Well done!
When a person's mind is in sync with their consciousness, they are at their best.
Don't writers think on more than one level? We're more put together than most I'd have to say. We have an outlet that thrusts us further that doesn't cost other than our own talent and time.
I'd say, for those who live out their writerly worlds and believe that their work is REAL and mumble madly in public at a Water Vamp they created in their new SteamPunk Science Fiction Victorian Thriller Romance, then I'd question them.
I always need a hug! ;)
Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell releases October 31st!
Is there such a thing as an UN-neurotic writer? If so I have yet to meet one.
I think I need to sign up for this support group!
Neurotic is my middle name! I think it's impossible not to feel self-conscious about your writing because it's such an intimate part of you as a person. This support group sounds great!
Most writers are neurotic. Yes, my husband would say that includes me :).
Hugs really do make a difference!
Yep. There you go. You hope your friends aren't a bunch of liars. That sums it up pretty darn well...
Tara, when we were young, it dragged forever...
Ciara, buy it - awesome story!
Lynda, that's putting a happy spin on it!
Kelly, weird works.
Mel, it's awesome.
Elizabeth, you are hugged!
Lisa and Julie, join us!
Oh yes, that's it in a nutshell. We never REALLY know! And no matter how many times my friends reassure me, I still don't know for sure. Not sure that will change even if I get published.
And hey, I know Rusty! Thanks guys!
Aren't all writers just a leetle, teeny bit neurotic? Or a lot, maybe?
Great post. Really needed that today. My neuroses have neuroses. See you on Wednesday.
Definitely got check this one out. BTW...thanks so much for your reccos. A lot of your fellow novelists are on my site now along with a bunch of publish presses.
Great post; my family nicknames me Crazy and Alien. I think all artist have a bit of this gene, how can we not?! Group hug.... ;D
I like the way Rusty ended that interview with his wife. Very cute.
Issues? Neuroses? I'm having a crappy week with lots of both and will take one of your ninja hugs.
Lydia, some more than others.
Copyboy, that's cool!!
Ella, always a hug for you!
Don't worry, Rusty. My husband has 'issues' too. It keeps things interesting after all these years together because wives always think we can help you be normal. The good ones are worth it.
Yay for neurotic writers! And heck yes ninjas give awesome hugs!
I love Rusty and his issues--he raises self-deprication to an art form. I think the moral here is don't ask questions you don't necessarily want the answer to. Although I prefer neurotic people; they are far more interesting to hang out with.
Great post and I loved reading the snippet... best of luck with your novel Rusty... sounds awesome.
This was a fun post! Alex, thanks for introducing us to Rusty, and I look forward to visiting his site!
I'm here to give you a hug Alex, but I reckon that maybe Rusty needs one too :) I know what he means about that constant mirror writing holds up in front of us. It took me ages when I started at work to deal with the fact that I am literally surrounded by mirrors all day - now I just ignore them as I know what i see is probably a completely distorted truth anyway. So - a very happy day to two very talented dudes!
PS - Rusty - never interrupt the purse changing ritual... it'll never do you any good!
Yup, I can identify. So there you have it, Rusty. You are not alone.
Susan, that's good to know!
Ali, yes we do.
Julie, I think you just described what he does perfectly.
Laura, we're surrounded by mirrors and windows, neither of which is a good thing.
In the busy months, somehow IWG always creeps up on me. I will make sure I have my post ready. Thanks for the heads up and the great post.
Oh, this made me laugh. My OH tells me I have 'issues' too. Ha! But who doesn't? Anyway, that's what makes us interesting as humans. There, I've totally justified my issues.
That's so funny. It is so much like that... everyone thinks you can write, except for the publishers. lol That's how I feel sometimes.
But we certainly all have our issues. ANd I think most writers are neurotic. :)
Is it evil that I am now trying to picture Rusty in a bikini? It's just the way I roll. It's nice though, to get some family support that you're not insane. Mine would totally tell me I was. All of them. Except the cat--she's crazier than I am.
Alex, please help talk to Yvonne.
hahaha I love writers : ) The minute I post on one of my blogs I get anxious. "What did I do? Did I say something wrong?" And then when I get compliments I wonder if they actually read the post or if they are being nice... So I have to go back and edit. I'm err uh conscientious, yeah yeah that's the word. Oh! Is this comment ok? Am I neurotic? I better look up that word.
Isn't being neurotic one of our finer points? :)
Fun post, as always. Off to check out Rusty's site (after I find my protective suit. Sounds dangerous)
Doesn't a little narcissism and huggin' just spice up the pot a bit???
Thanks for the into to Rusty Man.
God bless and have an amazin' day! :o)
Clarissa, now you'll be ready.
Talli, how could you possibly have issues?
Hart, only Rusty can answer that question...
Oceangirl, I have been!
Great post! And good to know I'm not alone in my...writerly issues :)
Hug? Yes. Ninja hug? Hmmm...sounds dangerous, but that's the fun of it, right?
Enjoyed this post!!
Great post! :) Rusty is awesome.
And various neuroses are why I just love being a writer.
"It’s the not knowing that drives you crazy." I have more editors reject my work than accept it, but it's those acceptances that are golden. They tell me I should keep on keepin' on.
Great post, Alex and Rusty! Great topic . . . and I know what my husband would say if I asked him if I was neurotic . . ."honey, do you really want me to answer that question?" . . .um, no. It's kind of like asking him if these jeans make my hips look too wide - danger zone.
Writing is awesome, waiting for others to read your work and then comment . . . well, that's painful.
Dead God's Wrath, a novel seems interesting.
I love this post because it clearly shows us why "people who have issues" are so much more interesting than those who are happy and content and have no complaints. I'm heading over to check out Rusty's blog because I'm guessing he's a fascinating blogger too.
Jen, it only sounds dangerous...
Milo, and you should!
Tyrean, most men know better than to answer either of those questions.
Patricia, he's beyond fascinating.
I'm dragging in her last minute again. But I have only 27 pages of editing to go. Yes!
Nice to meet you Rusty. We all have issues. No worries :)
Wow. I'm always amazed at the reaction and support Alex engenders in others. Wait, no I'm not - he's awesome. Thank you Alex, your support for me has been invaluable. It's humbling.
And thank you all, you guys are amazing!
Awesome interview and I like the fact it is not the lenhht of a mutant snake.
I let myself to be neurotic from time to time and there is nothing wrong with it :-)
I hope I can get Rusty's book on Kindle -- going to Amazon.com to check now.
I meant "length", obviously :-)
Carol, you're almost done!
Rusty, I am only returning the gesture of friendship from someone who is damned awesome!
...are we all not in agreement in that to be successful at this, our passion of penning the perfect story, being a wee bit neurotic is part of the character trait? At least that's my excuse ;)
Well said, Rusty. Excellent interview, Alex.
Hey, Alex. Just wanted to warn you... There won't be a puzzle tomorrow. I'm still dealing with this head cold. Maybe next week, okay? Have a great weekend!
Angela, it's on Kindle - enjoy!
Hey Elliot! Well said.
Lynnette, I am deeply disappointed...
Love it. What a wonderful post. interesting and encouraging. Thanks.
Great interview, and so true. I certainly fall under the "neurotic" heading every so often (like when I go over and over a sentence to try to get it the best it can be, and then put it back to the way I had it in the first place...).
As for a hug, hugs are always good, but I don't think my family knows what the word means... Maybe I need to meet more Ninjas.
I'm looking forward to reading Rusty's book.
I don't mind being considered nuerotic; lets me fit in with my kids :)
Cool post Rusty.
CD, you do need to meet more Ninjas. And I do the same thing - change a sentence so often it's back where it began.
Donna, that's funny.
It was great to read Rusty's interview - I loved how he expressed his thoughts! Hope your support group is doing well :)
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