This is the first Wednesday of the month and I finally took the leap to join the Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG). This online group was formed to share the woes and victories of being writers. Thank you to the founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh and the co-hosts for the June 3 posting: Pat Garcia, J. Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre.
This month’s optional question: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours? Something readers would never know from your work?
I hated English class. In eleventh grade, I got a D on a poem we were required to write. Despite that, it was chosen for the school literary magazine. My teacher said I should change the wording – she still did not like the poem. I didn’t change anything, and it was published. But I truly dreaded writing since then. I was afraid to show anyone my work for fear of being belittled.
I love math. My graduate degree is in engineering. I was able to avoid having to do much writing in my classes. I had been working several years when I was assigned to a team working on a proposal for a new system. I submitted the text for my section. The senior engineer was patient, and I sweated over and over again to get the text right.
The next one was easier. Managers started asking me to be on their their proposal teams. Encouraged, I became reasonably good at making obscure engineering data intelligible.
I started to enjoy writing reports, even taking minutes at meetings became satisfying. I got more and more positive feedback.
Finally, I ventured to write a book. I joined a great little support group. We met monthly and over the next few years, I shared parts of the book. I brought one difficult section eight times, before I got the high five from my group.
I have since published that first book, and I am working on my third.
My secret – looking for and finding supportive critics and readers and actually listening to their advice! Is this really a secret? No, but I wish it had not taken me so long to figure it out. (Confession – I am still too nervous to try writing poetry.)