IWSG: Time constraints and feeling uncomfortable giving advice

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means it’s time for another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) started by Alex J. Cavanaugh. For those who don’t remember, the purpose of this group is for members to share their fears and to offer encouragement to those who are struggling. It’s a wonderful group of people who understand what it’s like to be an author. The co-hosts this month are Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue! Click here to join.

This month marks the one year anniversary of the IWSG site and the Facebook group. To celebrate Alex has something special up his sleeve. He’s asked members of IWSG to contribute to The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. For more details please visit the IWSG site.

I wanted to contribute to the guide but two things prevented me from doing so. The first was time. I’m in the midst of editing two books. One I hope to publish in December and the second in January or February. Editing is a difficult process for me. I enjoy everything I learn each and every time and I hope it helps me improve the next book. However, my highs and lows go berserk. I swear I can feel five different emotions in the span of minutes and that’s a bit draining.

The second reason I didn’t contribute is I felt uncomfortable doing so. I’m such a newbie to this whole process and every time I tried to think of something to share I drew a blank. When people ask me for advice, usually through email thank goodness so they can’t see the shocked look on my face, my first thought is, “Why are you asking me? I don’t have a clue!” Once I get over the initial shock I do my best to answer the question and normally I can come up with at least something. Or I can direct them to someone who can. That makes me feel a little better. I do wonder, though, if I’ll ever feel comfortable sharing advice. Not sure how I can work on that. Any advice? Do others feel this way?

Don’t forget to check out the other posts and to keep an eye out for The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond. I can’t wait to read it.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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44 Responses to IWSG: Time constraints and feeling uncomfortable giving advice

  1. I’m sure I would be exactly the same way because I never had enough confidence in myself :). However, you have acquired so much knowledge about the self-publishing industry and have turned out so many wonderful books that it doesn’t surprise me at all that people are looking to you for advice. Just remember, it’s advice from your experiences – you telling them what worked or didn’t for you. It doesn’t mean they have to use it every time. They are probably getting advice from various sources and then deciding what will work best for them. So, bolster up that self confidence and throw out your ideas. You have tons of great knowledge to share :).

  2. I wouldn’t think of it as advice, so much as information. This is what I did, I’m happy working like this, but it may not suit you.

    When you have three well-rated books published within two years and two others on the go, why should anyone not ask you? That’s exactly why I asked you the nosy questions for my interview.

    So maybe you don’t work the same way as others, but it’s important for everyone to evaluate and decide what’s best for them.

    I’ll remember not to email you again…

    • TBM says:

      No please keep emailing me. It’s good for me to step outside of my comfort zone and your questions make me think. That’s always a good thing. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. And I agree. I’ve read some books and blogs about things that don’t work for me but it’s great that it works for them. There isn’t one way of doing things thank goodness.

  3. mlouisebarbourfundyblue says:

    Hi TB! Great post! Congratulations on your published books and those in the pipeline. I struggled with exactly the same issue, feeling uncomfortable with giving advice/writing a contribution, but then I thought, “You’re a co-host! You have to set an example!” I think you have a wealth of information that you can share that could help someone struggling to do what you have done! I think of it more as inspiration. So you didn’t have time to participate in this because you had other, more pressing priorities. The bright side is that you have lots of experience to mine for IWSG posts. Good luck with your books TB!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks very much for your kind words. And congrats on being a co-host this month. What a month to step up to the plate, but I bet you’ll learn a ton. I know I am. Thanks for co-hosting and I’m cheering you on!

  4. elsieamata says:

    I feel your pain. I had a hard time coming up with any kind of words of wisdom. I haven’t been published yet, I’m still in editing stage – blech, totally the worst part of the journey. Best of luck to you!!

    • TBM says:

      I love and hate editing. I learn so much which is the best part, but it’s so draining. I don’t think a lot of people understand how much work goes into a book after the first draft. Best of luck to you as well!

  5. Beverly says:

    You might be surprised at what you can say to help other writers. Your experiences, successes, failures, anything you’ve done that someone else might not thought of. Best of luck with your edits.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Beverly. If I had more time I would have loved to push past my fear and tried to come up with something. As a writer it’s good to shove myself out of my comfort zone. In a couple of months everything will slow down some … hopefully.

  6. I feel that way too. It took me a long time to think of something to write for today’s IWSG post, and in the end, I went with what was pretty simple. You’ve come a long way and learned a lot. I bet you’d surprise yourself!

    • TBM says:

      I didn’t find your marketing tips to be simple and in fact I think you were right on the money. Those are the big three that helped me.

  7. I know what you mean, I feel under qualified too! I think the book will be a great resource for all writers. Good luck with all your editing, it sounds like you will be busy over the next few weeks. Thanks for visiting my blog today.

    Visiting as co-host of IWSG this month.

  8. I’m totally awesome at referring people to the resources or experts I’ve drawn from over the years. It’s definitely interesting when someone approaches you and asks, but lady, you need to own this thing. You are an author after all. =)

  9. I’ll be honest, I struggled to know what to write for this IWSG post. Even after I posted it, I doubted whether it was any good, or if they would even want it for the anthology! And too, what did I have to contribute? I’m not even published yet. But it turns out, I did have something to contribute, and hopefully it will help new writers as the traipse through these foreign waters of writing and publishing. I guess what I’m trying to say is, never doubt yourself. You are a published AUTHOR—of course you have something to contribute! Your experiences alone are worth something. 🙂

    It’s great to meet you through the IWSG! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog earlier today!

    • TBM says:

      I think it’s valuable to hear from those who aren’t published yet since it gives insight into the key aspects of publishing right from the start. To know the aspects that help get your foot through the door. I wish you the best of luck!

  10. “Why are you asking me?” I can really relate to that statement. That being said, I think you know more than you give yourself credit for.
    Good luck on your edits!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Jill. I won’t lie, I’ll be relieved when these edits are done. Usually I’m not working on two projects in the editing stage and my brain is turning into mush.

  11. SittieCates says:

    Hi there! Nice to meet you through IWSG.

    Crystal’s right. You’ve got to own this. It may be unnerving at first, but you’ve got published books. That’s a great accomplishment! Congratulations on that! There’s so much to share. I’m sure your experiences will be able to help others.

  12. It surprises me when people ask for advice, but I give it and people seem to appreciate it.

    I can’t wait to see your new books.

  13. TB, you could’ve contributed something valuable! Never doubt what you can share with others.
    Good luck with the editing.

  14. Sherri says:

    It’s a hard one isn’t it? But I feel you have so much to offer and could give great advice 🙂 Hope the edits are going well…you are doing a wonderful job 🙂

  15. Not at all a surprise that people ask you for advice. You are the published author of THREE novels with more to come! You have experience in the business and are extremely approachable. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned over the years even though this makes you uncomfortable. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I’ll do my best to share about my experiences. It’s good to push myself into areas that do make me uncomfortable. It builds character 😉

  16. I bet you have more to offer other aspiring writers and writers in general than you realize. 🙂 Look at all that you have learned in the process of getting your books out there! 🙂 But- I understand because unless someone asks a specific question it can be hard to come up with something. I do know from reading your blog that you know a lot! Best of luck with your edits.

  17. cleemckenzie says:

    You have quite a lot on your plate with two books to edit! Still I think you have contributions that are worthwhile and needed. You’re doing what a lot of writers don’t know how to do.

    • TBM says:

      I do see your point, I do. But I feel lost at sea some days. But hey, I can share why I felt that way and how I found the shore once again even if only briefly.

  18. The Guat says:

    Dude you’re awesome…like Batman kind of awesome and I get the time constraint and all that but even if you’re a newbie you are the badass newbie. Editing two books and publishing another? Duuuuuuuuude if I had a Pinterest board you’d be on it 🙂 I’ll check out the site I remember telling you it was an awesome concept and I totally dug it. Have a good one.

  19. I’m the same way. I’m so shocked when someone asks me for advice and I never feel qualified to give any.
    Good luck with your editing, TB! That’s awesome you have two more books in the pipeline. More to add to my Kindle. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Julie. I’ll be glad when these two projects are done but then I remember there will be others to fill their places. It’s a never-ending task. Gotta love editing if you want to write.

  20. Cool idea for a group! I’m such an insecure writer, I’ve not written a word in months!

    So, yeah, I’ve been gone all summer. We moved across town but just got our internet two days ago–I kid you not! LONGGGGG STORY!

    Hope you had an awesome weekend–not to mention summer!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • TBM says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your internet hassles. We struggled for a month here in London to get connected again after our move. It was frustrating! Hope all is well and you are settled into your new place.

  21. Anything we’ve learned in the trenches is the kind of advice other writers want to hear, especially those starting out. Often times I edit myself, assuming others know what I’ve only recently learned. Sure, others might. But there are still those out there who would benefit from what I’ve learned — even if I am a little late to the party. =]

    • TBM says:

      I’m always late to the party! There’s so much to learn and I know I still have tons more to learn. Every day I hope I make progress.

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