writers / writing

#IWSG Writerly Lows and Highs

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

Co-hosts this month are:

Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!

I love writing. It was a long evolution for me from ‘dancer’ to ‘manager’ to ‘teacher’ to where I finally have ended up: Proud to call myself a writer. I still teach, but my heart is in writing (don’t tell my students!). The best of times during that process was when I outed myself, called myself a writer in public. I knew I was there when my wonderful sister introduced me as an author–not a teacher–and in glowing terms.

Worst of times–I don’t complain so I have no idea what that would be. Maybe it would be those days no one seems to want to buy my books and Amazon shows one sale. Usually, I stop checking sales for a while because it’s just too depressing.

How about you? I’ll be by to see how you rank your writing career!

#iwsg #amwriting

@TheIWSG


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022.

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100 thoughts on “#IWSG Writerly Lows and Highs

  1. Like you, I love writing and would prefer to write all day everyday, and no, I wouldn’t tell my students either. They are upset with me already by not being there five days a week. Lows, the sales are not forthwith, just as well I love writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing!!.. Well, I am not a writer but when I post a blog I do not do so in order to gain attention, how many likes I get, etc.. it is all about sharing my thoughts with others… so when I post my thoughts, I move on to new adventures, excitedly awaiting for my heart to perhaps gather more thoughts to share… 🙂

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and until we meet again…
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what you mean about calling yourself a writer. When friends introduce me and call me an author, I kind of try to make myself small. And I don’t understand that reaction. I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. I should be proud to be a writer. I guess I just don’t want to be obnoxious about writing and finishing a book, nor do I want to be a nerd!!! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jacqui, reading has always been my passion and writing poetry and books seems a natural extension of that pleasure. I regard my writing as a most enjoyable hobby and a way of sharing my thoughts, ideas, and passions. As a result, I don’t really experience lows.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great observations, Jacqui! I have just started telling people outside of my tiny writing world that I’m a writer and that I’m working on a novel. I’ve had some articles published, but never felt that was enough to claim the identity. It’s a bit weird – but oddly exhilarating. I’m sure watching sales numbers remain stagnant is annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re always so upbeat, Jacqui! I love it! I’ve introduced my youngest sister as an author at several conferences, and I’ll have a huge high when she gets to return the favor. Take care, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The high point for me is when I’m visiting a classroom and the students are listening to every word I read from one of my books. It is such a thrill. A low point is when I feel like I will never have a good idea again. It doesn’t last long though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Calling myself a writer in public was a big high for me too, and it took me years to transition from “I write stories” to “I’m a writer.” It’s a hard admission to make, even to yourself. It requires a switch in mentality, IMO.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m sorry to say, I too go through the not checking sales phase. Ack. Ack. Ack. I think probably most of us do that aren’t in the ethereal realms of Writers’ Royalty, as in kings and queens, not payments. Heh. Don’t you? Can’t wait for your next one. Hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw, I love this! Recognition from people we honor or respect is definitely a huge high as an author. I remember the first time my son introduced me as “My mom, the author I was telling you about!”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When I get a new student in my writing classes, all starry eyed and when I ask why they’re there, if they say, “to publish and sell lots of books” I know they’re in the wrong class. I teach for the FUN of writing (and my classes are called Creative Writing for Fun). Because God knows, in almost all circumstance, we writers will NOT make money. Or even get that many sales or readers. But. Oh, how wonderful it feels to write. To move our words into a story. To see the delight in the eyes of those few readers we have. I love to write. I love to tell tales. And if someone buys my books to enjoy themselves, oh happy day. But that’s not why I write. I write for the high of …. writing. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  12. There’s something about the vulnerability, yet the exhilaration of releasing your creativity for the world to see. It takes courage. I feel my writing career is more of a hobby, at this point. There are just too many other life tasks pulling me away. I personally enjoy your writing! Keep on! You’ve got this!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I think you’re doing wonderful, Jacqui, and we all go through sales slumps (sometimes, I think KDP drops the ball, but who knows?)
    My highs come from unexpected glowing reviews. They feed my spirit and renew the validation that, yes, I AM a writer.
    Lows are staring at the screen with nothing to say, and seeing my ratings tank- ouch!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I do love those times when I’m introduced as a writer. It’s such a fun moment. And I agree that probably those saleless stretches are the downs, though I don’t pay much attention to them either, Jacqui. A fun post, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Writing the stories is the easy and fun part of this crazy business. Everything else drains me, yet are equally important if I want to reach readers (which I do). When I won my first book award was the moment I truly felt like an author. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do like balancing the writing with marketing, but both get tedious at times. Yep–wining an award–that would squelch any doubts about your writing. Kudos to you, Jan!

      Like

      • My brother hasn’t read any of my new stuff since he found fan fiction (some stuff from the Orient that he loves) and hasn’t bought a new book in ages — I told him he’s going to be the end of publishing as he usually bought more books than me 🙂

        Like

  16. Sounds like you are taking the right approach! Glad you are flying the author flag for all to see. I still have a tough time calling myself an author or writer, but I’ll get there eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer (I’ve been crafting stories since I was in grade school), but now others do as well. I am often introduced by friends and family members as an author. I never really stopped to consider that until dwelling on your post. As for sales—meh. I’d love to have more, but even without them, nothing will stop me from writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. All of the business aspects of writing are my low points. My highs are the creative things, like a perfectly crafted metaphor or a brilliant ending or something.

    This was a hard question to answer (with specifics). I can relate to your answers, Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not depressing sales would be when they’re sufficient to pay the bills. I had that for a while with my education books on Amazon, but Amazon changed something and sales almost screeched to a halt. I couldn’t believe it. Oh well.

      Like

  19. Early in my career (eons ago), complaining got me zilch, so I adopted these ten two-letter words: if it is to be, it is up to me. That little saying always rearranged my tail feathers, equipping me to tackle the problems other avoided. Same with writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The books I have published so far, has been co-authored how-tos or translations so that the sales – or not – have not been bothering me overmuch, or not at all . But I can see my future in your worries.
    I wish you luck, and rising numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

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