Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Musings on the Influence of Randomness

Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          This month I started reading The Click Moment by Frans Johansson. It's a breakthrough book which looks at the influence of randomness and serendipity on success.While it's an amazing book and teaches that you never know what's going to speak to people and propel you into super stardom, it also takes the standpoint that often talent and hard work aren't enough to ensure you become successful.
           One of the examples used to highlight the points made by the book is Stephanie Meyer's huge international success with Twilight and how she went against the grain in terms of making her vampires differ from the norm. People responded to this in a completely random way and now she's laughing all the way to the bank.
           Whilst reading The Click Moment has been a huge eye opener and has taught me to cast my net wider as you never know what's going to strike a chord with people, it's also given me pause to worry about never being able to tap into the random opportunities and therefore never being able to reach the audience I need to enable me to pursue writing as a viable career. 
           Let's face it, half the reason why writing is so desirable to me is because it doesn't involve too much human contact. At least not for the most part. I'm not overly shy per se, I just feel like conversations always go better in my head (or in a book!) than they do in real life. Therefore, I'm not really the kind of person who jumps at small opportunities that could lead to big success. I guess what I'm saying is that if success is based on randomness and serendipity, where does that leave control freaks like me who work hard but lack the confidence to grab opportunities when they arise?
          That my friends is my insecure moment for the month!


  1. Good point!
    The thing I like to consider is that, in a random world, I can still improve my odds by playing the game as often as I can. Unfortunately, I can see where you are right to conclude that talent and perseverance don't always pay off as well as they should. However, I think there is some satisfaction in doing your best at something that you love.

    Who knows, perhaps that will shine through, and attract the readers you are looking for. :)

  2. I see why that makes you nervous, but who knows? Isn't the point of randomness and serendipity that you *can't* predict it? So really, I think it's just as likely that those things will work in your favor as it is for anyone else.

  3. I love your topic! As a fellow control freak, it's something I've been pondering a lot myself. I've always felt that I could "make" writing success. Perfect my writing, perfect my cover, perfect my marketing strategy, etc. I've recently come to realize that I can't "make" anything happen. Good covers and good stories help, but there is that X factor -- luck, randomness, etc. Whatever you call it, it's that *thing* we writers have no control over. In some ways, realizing this has helped me let go of my need to control and really focus on my writing.

  4. But sometimes the randomness hits you! Even if you don't go out on a limb for something wild, opportunity might sneak up and bite you in the butt. Doesn't hurt, but it is a shock!
    Control what you can control and don't worry about the rest.

  5. Don't feel too bad. I think most writers are a bit antisocial. ;)

  6. Interesting form of thought. I can tell you I have absolutely no idea either. Lol. But what you described sounded just like me too. Rest assured. You are not the only one that feels that way. Hope you find your answer. :)

  7. I'm totally loving The Click Moment! It's resonating with me in a big way, but, like I said before, it is a scary book to read when you're insecure about letting go of control. But, if you know letting go of it will likely be beneficial, you can take that risk.

    I'm totally anti-social, too, but I never got from the book that you have to go out and talk to random people. No way. Luck can strike you in any place you happen to be in. After all, I met you didn't I? And, we've never met in person. The possibilities for randomness are limitless and possible in every corner and niche you can think of, whether in real life or virtual life.

  8. Writing isn't some sort of snap your fingers and everything's perfect kind of thing. Sure, there are those people who write stories like Twilight or indie authors with no sense of grammar or spelling that end up selling like hotcakes. But those are the exception.

    I always want to believe that writing could be a career for me, since I enjoy writing so much, but I have to be reasonable too. I'm just going to keep plugging away at my WIP and then at my next book and the next until I get somewhere. I wanted to publish by the end of this year... not gonna happen now. It's discouraging, but I'm not giving up. I am still determined to try and take my writing somewhere.

    With you, I wouldn't want to see you just give up based on a book that tells you success is based on randomness and serendipity. Yes, that is the case sometimes, but not all the time. If you love to write, you need to write, whether you become famous or not. :)

  9. I struggle with this myself. I wish I could help but I really can't. I'm writing during Nanowrimo and yea I'm up to 7,000+ words (not including the words I had written before the month started, which I think is cheating to count), but I'm still wayy behind where I should be, and part of that is because as I write I'm thinking thinds like: "Is this dumb?" Is this character even believable or is he too perfect?" Does this even seem like something my character would do, or does he seem a bit one sided?" Is my book too much like other books?" "Why can't I come up with creative names or titles like those people who rite the books I read"...and the list goes on. It's hard to look at how quick some of our favorite writers reached success, and then realize how random and away from the norm ther book was and then look back at your own book and think it's still a good idea. It's for that reason that I have yet to read one word since NaNoWriMo. Well, that, and the fact that I really have no time. I'm about to write a post that talks a bit about that actually...

  10. I appreciate reading honest posts about writer insecurities because I drown in them regularly. Its such a roller coaster ride. One minute I read my stuff and think its awesome and then the next minute its absolute crap. I am grateful for people who take time to review my work, even if its negative because there's usually something useful that I can use to help improve my next writing project. Im doing NaNoWrimo right now for the first time and finding it very liberating because Ive NEVER just 'written words for a target number' without editing and ripping them to shreds along the way. I am loving the freedom that comes with allowing myself to write imperfectly. Write unshackled by my own self-doubt. At the end of the month I may end up with a pile of junk, but its better than only a few pages of over-crafted "brilliance" ( insert derisive laugh here at ridiculous thought that anything i write can be brilliant...)


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