The Purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

To join IWSG visit Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here.



We’ve all heard the platitudes:

  • Don’t worry so much.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Don’t be discouraged.
  • Be happy.
  • Don’t take it personally.

This advice usually comes from friends or family who care and wish us only the best. They see our suffering and want to ease the burden. Their hearts are undoubtedly in the right place, and we love them all the more for their efforts, but often these words of support make us feel worse rather than better. They are a burden. Another way for us to fail.

Alex PE/Flickrcc

Alex PE/Flickrcc

Certainly, if we had the choice, we’d all be hopeful, secure, worry-free, happy, and immune to negative feedback. But that’s not the way human beings—particularly writers—work.

I, for one, can’t do happy on command. Oh, but if I could! Wouldn’t it be grand if being told to be happy made it so? If being counseled not to worry vanquished anxiety?

Take loved ones’ advice in the generous spirit it’s offered rather than to heart. Don’t let the support of those near and dear be an additional weight crushing your fragile ego.

The next time you read a bad review or receive negative feedback, and someone important tells you not to worry or take it personally, don’t stress. Remember what they’re really saying is don’t give up.

And don’t give up, fellow IWSG’ers, is advice live and write by.


JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

A year after winning a story competition, one of the judges wrote me to say my submission from the previous year was far better than any of the current year’s entries. That he’d been hooked by the second paragraph. I felt as if I’d won two years in a row.