Wednesday, September 5, 2012

IWSG: Why It Took Me So Long to Join

I've been thinking about joining the Insecure Writer's Support Group for awhile, and I finally added my web site to the blog hop on Alex Cavanaugh's page. Before joining IWSG, I've read posts by a number of its members and I'm truly in admiration of those who write about their insecurities with such frank humility. 

The reason why I haven't joined IWSG sooner is because I'm cautious about oversharing, especially on the Internet. Many years ago, when I was a teacher, I had a student who exhibited rude and inconsiderate behavior in class. So I respectfully spoke to this student about it. And she continued to do it. So I spoke to her some more. And she still continued to do it. Feeling frustrated, I went to a online teacher's "support" forum to seek advice. While I got a few helpful responses, a couple of Internet trolls, writing in anonymity without profile pictures, wrote some nasty notes to me. For awhile, one of trolls kept returning to that particular forum thread day after day, sometimes even more than once a day, to continue flaming me. It got kind of creepy.

It's fair to say that anytime anyone shares anything about themselves on the Internet, they could be opening themselves up to potential negativity....or harassment.

Even with writing this blog, I sometimes hold back.  But when I read some of my blogging peers' IWSG posts written by an uninhibited hand, it's occurred to me that I might not be benefiting from my blog to the fullest when I hold back. I have writerly insecurities, and I should take a risk and share some of them. I also want to reach out to others who might be feeling down or insecure about writerly stuff. 

I'm looking forward to seeing where this will take me...so thanks, Alex, for setting this up. 

26 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

Sharing on the internet is always a bit scary - but I think with IWSG, everyone is in the same position, sharing their writing fears and helping each other. It's sensible to hold back a little, but when you're sharing with other people who you know will understand, it makes it less daunting!

Lovely to meet you, Cynthia, I love the look of your blog, it feels all cozy and friendly! :D

Patsy said...

It's true that if we open up we could become the target of trolls (but such people, in common with other bullies, don't need a reason to be nasty)

Just share what you feel comfortable with - and what you feel might help yourself or others.

S.P. Bowers said...

Unfortunately Trolls are around and they can ruin good experiences. But there are lots of good people too. Only you can decide how much you want to get out of the internet and what you're willing to put out there to achieve that. Kudos to you for taking this step.

Sydney said...

When I wrote my very first reviews and writing posts, I was a bit afraid. What if someone hates me for loving this book? Hates me for hating it? What if my types sucked and are absolutely worthless to them?

Later on, I got over that fear. It still lingers a bit though. I don't pay that much attention to troll comments anymore since all they do is waste my time. There are more supporters than haters out there!

Sheila Siler said...

Welcome to the support group. Hopefully you will have a much more positive experience here!

Lexa Cain said...

Wow, you are so busy - both GUTGAA and IWSG! That's a wonderful way to meet people and share ideas. Welcome to IWSG! :-)

Elisabeth Kauffman said...

Gah! Trolls! It's easy to be overly cautious after a run-in with those monsters... but then, that's their whole intention, is to take away your voice. Glad you decided to dive back in. In this community I find that there are far and away enough positive voices to combat the Trolls. <3

Tara Tyler said...

trolls are always anonymous, arent they!
and thats why their opinion doesnt matter, they are spam to me!
dealing with difficult people is part of life, so i'm glad there are enough good ones to make up for the bad!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I had the same troll fear too, but keeping a Billy Goat (my PMS me) nearby has helped the problem resolve itself. Welcome! May your Billy Goat keep the trolls far away.

Nancy Thompson said...

The IWSG is nothing like those forum threads. We all are in the same boat and share the same insecurities, and we're all here to genuinely comfort one another. So have no fear. This is a safe place. Welcome to the group!

Vikki (www.the-view-outside.com) said...

Hi there and welcome to the IWSG :)

Oh honey, how awful for you, what happened with that forum :(

I totally understand your concerns, but, I promise you, everyone in the IWSG is lovely. No one will judge you, no one will comment with anything unfriendly :)

I hope after this, your first month, you'll feel that you can share more next time :)

Xx

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome to the IWSG!
Sorry you experienced trolls. They are everywhere.
That's why I don't share personal stuff on my site. But I've found this group is just the most supportive, so don't be afraid to state you need encouragement now and then.

Siobhan said...

Popping by from IWSG. New member here. Don't share anything you don't feel comfortable sharing ;) Welcome to the group.

Nick Wilford said...

Yeah, IWSG does seem to be a safe haven, which is the whole point. Great idea Alex had! I really must join one of these days...

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

I find that people often respond very positively to those vulnerable, "I'm human and here's my flaw of the day" posts.

Gina Gao said...

I have never joined this group, but it sounds fun.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Lionel said...

That's terrible about the Trolls. I feel bad, but I'm glad that it isn't stopping you from posting. I think it's okay to hold some things back, just be honest with yourself why. There's nothing wrong with protecting yourself in the digital age that's for sure. Good luck with IWSG, it sounds like a great group:)

Paul R. Hewlett

Allison said...

Welcome to the group! It is great just seeing that others have the same insecurities as you, and that you are not alone.

Allison (Geek Banter)

Diana said...

It's hard to let people see is at our low points, but it's nice to know we're not alone.

Cynthia said...

Everyone, thank you so much for sharing your kind thoughts. I look forward to learning more about you in this group.

Chemist Ken said...

IWSG is a wonderful group with lots of supportive, understanding people. After a few months of IWSG, you'll soon be confessing all your innermost secrets.

Good luck.

Mina Burrows said...

I think its wise to always hold back to a degree. As for the online community, there are some hateful people --even writers--out there. I could tell you some stories too. My recommendation is to stick close the band of folks that provide positive feedback and support like IWSG.

Anne said...

I agree with Mina, it is wise to hold back a little. While it is good to share a part of ourselves online, there's a lot of security issues we need to remember. I've just joined the IWSG and do think this group will provide the support I need.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've read some of the ISWG posts and find they echo a lot of what I hear from writers at conferences and workshops. Everyone needs a support group, even the most private introvert writer.

Ella said...

I am so happy you joined! I'm sad n' sorry about what happened to you. I share, then I get cautious again! I think we have to be open to receive, but if our radar goes up, then be cautious. So far I have found blogging to be an amazing experience! :D

jonyangorg said...

I"m not IWSG participant but it was cool to read why you're joining now. Am excited to read your IWSG posts!

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