Tuesday, July 3, 2012

IWSG - How much is good enough?

It's time for another installation of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month.  (Since tomorrow is July 4th, we are posting on Tuesday for July.)  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!

Something I've been struggling with is wondering how much is good enough.  I don't always feel that my writing is good enough to get an agent or be a published author.  I've written five novels, but only one I want to publish.  The others, maybe, but they need some serious work.

How much is good enough?  Will I be satisfied when I've written six novels or when I've reached 201 followers on my blog?  Should I be concerned about how many people actually buy my book?  Will people actually want to read it?  Will writing be enough?

I don't think I'll ever be able to support myself as a writer, but I want to try.  My dream is to someday be a stay-at-home mom and write.  That's pretty hard to do right now... as a single young woman, serving coffee.  I know I'll get there, but until then... ? 

I recently read a book called "Quitter" by Jon Acuff and he talked about defining what will be your good enough, so you can reach a point where you realized that you've accomplished your goal.  You can always go above your "good enough", but it keeps you from obsessing over the numbers.  I sent myself an email, which will arrive next year on June 2rd, 2013.  It talks about what I believe is good enough for me. :)  I am reminded that I don't have to prove myself to anyone.  I don't need to prove that I'm a good writer.  I am because I believe in my writing and I'll keep growing as a writer.

It's good enough for me to love writing and have at least one person love what I've written.

What's your "good enough"?  Do you obsess about the numbers?


 For those of you in the US, have a great 4th of July tomorrow!  I've got zero plans (one reason is because the fireworks are tonight instead of tomorrow), but it should be a good day.  Happy early Independence day!  Maybe I'll go to a movie or finally watch Batman.  Who knows!


  1. My "good enough" is pretty nebulous right now... For the time being, I'm okay with just taking one step at a time. One of the next steps coming up is querying, though (eek!) so a lot of this may change soon...

    Happy 4th of July to you as well! I will be reading the Declaration of Independence to celebrate. :)

  2. I do obsess about the numbers from time to time, but that's just my personality. I fret over the dumbest things. In general, my good enough is the people who have already enjoyed my books and want more. I haven't publicized my books very much and so my readership is small. I'd like to change that in the future, but for now I'm happy with where I'm at.

    I commend you on your goal of wanting to be a stay-at-home mom too. That's what I am, although now all but one of my kids are grown. I have even more time for writing now that they are older. My husband has encouraged me to just pursue my writing career when all the kids leave home instead of going out to find a new job.

  3. It's an interesting question. I remember hearing that most fine artists are never really happy with their final work. I think most of my writing could always do with an improvement. But I haven't set a goal in getting published yet - I don't have the discipline to finish my WIP.

    It takes a lot of courage to pursue any kind of writing because it is difficult in many ways. Thinking whether its good enough can be a trap though. I know if I thought about it too much, my writing would stop. If you keep writing, eventually you will get where you want to be. Good luck.

  4. Good Post Krista. I think all of us, if only subconsciously, base good enough in what other people think. Am I really a Writer until some Publisher picks up my work? I have always thought this. But I don't know. One question I ask is if I could just stop writing? How would I feel? The thought makes the Texas Chain Saw Massacre seem like a Disney movie. So I guess I am already a Writer. And if I am already a Writer then it is not what other people think about my writing, it is if I can still sit down each day and write or not. I guess this is the whole insecurity issue :0) Thanks for the Post and glad to meet you ~PapaBear

  5. Excellent post and I suffer from the same thing. I've written so much, but none of it ever seems good enough. I agree that you've just got to be good enough for yourself. As long as you're loving it!

  6. Hi :)

    Just popping by from the IWSG :)

    Oooooo, your post today, I can really relate to lol

    Yesterday, I decided to give up on my WIP, because I know, deep down, that it's NOT good enough :(

    I'm not prepared to slog my guts over a MS that has probably got zilch chance of ever being published....soooo, I'm stopping lol.

    I think it's about being painfully honest with yourself, and realistic. I want to get published, but my current WIP just really isn't strong enough (IMO) and although that's gutting, now I've finally told myself that, I feel like a weights been lifted.....and that I can finally move on and work on some of my other ideas :)

    Well done honey for having written 5 novels, that is such an achievement! :)

    Even successful writers still wonder if anyone will want to read their latest novel, does it match up to the last one? Will people be disappointed? So you are definitely not alone. Have you given it to Beta readers? If they're response was positive then you know you've got something worth sticking with.

    Good luck honey xx

  7. Hi Krista! I found your blog through IWSG too. It can be like riding on a carousel at times! We go round and round, up and down. Some days we love what we're writing and are on the top of the world, and other days each word we write drains the energy right out of us and we wonder if we'll ever be good enough. Maybe those 5 novels will be published (maybe they will) but it's not wasted writing. I'll bet each one helped you improve your skills and perhaps will spark the inspiration for something new.

    Keep at it! We're all in this together. New follower, btw. :)

  8. you are too young to worry about good enough! if you want to write, write. if life takes you other directions, go with it! live like it's an adventure! go places, do things, be happy! if writing is part of that, keep writing!

    we shouldnt need approval to be happy, tho it doesnt hurt!

  9. I don't tend to obsess over numbers, though they could be such clear markers for success (or failure) that it's tempting to use them.

    I hope you reach your dream someday. :)

  10. I think most of us feel we aren't good enough from time to time, but we pick up the pen and keep writing anyway....because we have to. Just keep it up, five novels written is great!

  11. We all obsess over the numbers, but I love your idea of emitting myself to remind me of what is really important for me and not give too much credit to the nay-sayers.

    Thanks for that! I wish you the best of luck with your already complete novel and keep having a great attitude, having three more finished MS, however much work they might need, is quite an accomplishment!

  12. "Good enough" is really hard to define. I know published authors who still worry about their next WIP and if the numbers will be good enough. I think none of us will ever truly believe we're good enough. It's too tempting to chase "perfection."

  13. I've decided to write to the best of my ability (and for the fun of it), and if I make some money in the process, then all the better. I'm not quitting my day (night) job anytime soon. ;) Thanks for visiting my blog. :)