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Dear Writer, Have You joined the Insecure Writers Group? #IWSG #amwriting


Insecure Writers Support GroupThanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writers Support Group every month for the past few years! Go to this site to meet the other participants: each insecure writer, trying to feel secure, from across the blogiverse!

This month’s awesome co-hosts are:Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!

I’ve been insecure all of this week, but more as a human than a writer. Hate-filled messages have somehow managed to swamp my timelines, and it is always hate against the Other. The locals. The immigrants. The blacks. The whites. The browns. The animals. The politicians. Those lefties. The right-wingers.

Otherness and Separateness seems to be winning.

Insecure Writers Support GroupI’m drowning in edits, so this is a quick post to the IWSG– I had to say a quick hi, and also send a shoutout to Christine Robson, who has hosted a Malaysian sunset for me. If you love sunsets, check out her blog, and send her a sunset picture! She might feature you on her awesome blog.

Her blog post today made me smile.

To shrug off my insecurity as a human (I’m fast losing faith in my race) I’ve decided to smile more, look for opportunities to help out, to make donations to orgs that make a difference, encourage my friends, be nice to strangers. I’ll be visiting everyone back next week: both for the Cherished Blogfest and the Insecure Writers Support Group — for this week, please forgive the lack of replies and visits. I shall return them all, and more!

To everyone, writers and non: does the hatred swilling about on social media and over dining table discussions affect you? What do you do to make yourself feel the love again? If you’re a writer, have you joined the Insecure Writers Group? What are you insecure about?

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • cathum says:

    An interesting link, thanks for drawing our attention to it. Definitely worth more than a look

  • bikerchick57 says:

    Absolutely, the negativity and hate within the human race affects me. But I choose to do as you, Damyanti, and smile, be kind to others, help people in need, etc. It’s the only way to keep above it.

  • Susan Scott says:

    It’s hard to switch off from it all … nothing like a walk in nature, a good cup of coffee, a good book …

  • That’s quite a mixed group. I’m delving into ancient history fiction to support a long-standing novel I’ve been writing, trying to get inspiration.

  • aj vosse says:

    Acceptance and tolerance plays a massive part in getting along!

  • dgkaye says:

    I do my best to dodge negativity. I also try abstaining from watching the news most of the week lately. I try my best not to subject myself to the media hype. And mostly I live in my quiet writerly world. Have a good week D. 🙂

  • That is a great name for the group! lol! I am glad I saw a post leading me back here!

  • ccyager says:

    Fortunately, I’ve been extremely busy during the last month and as a result, I’ve not spent much time on social media. Also, I’ve not been listening/watching much news either. It’s kept me sane in one way (being so busy is its own insanity!) and kept me calm. My focus has been on positive interactions with people whoever I may meet during my long days. We need to be mindful, think how we want to be treated, and treat others in the same way. I hope the edits are going well — that’s also its own insanity — and your health continues to improve! Cinda

  • I freely use Facebook’s unfollow, Twitter’s unfollow, and my own power to exit social media and ignore the radio and TV talk shows. It’s so calming to walk away from all that and pull weeds, make a batch of cookies, read a great novel, take the dog for a walk, or work on those revisions/edits.

  • Carlee Myers says:

    Boy, does it affect me! But it only give me more motivation to get out there and make the world a better place! Love the blog post. Thanks for the follow btw! You can grab a free coloring page as a token of my thanks if ya want. Cheers! 🙂

  • Debbie Johansson says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about the hate on social media, and I’ve been lucky enough not to have encountered much of it. I think that might be because I have a small social circle and live outside of the U.S. Here in Australia, we’ve just had our election and the results cause me concern. I really worry for the future of this country as I have two children and I wonder what kind of environment we’ll be leaving behind. I try to block that all out with things I can control and enjoy doing, like being with family and nature, writing, reading and trying to stay healthy. I’ve recently joined ISWG and look forward to meeting other writers. Your outlook is the best way – trying to stay positive in a very negative world.

  • Jemima Pett says:

    I ended up deleting all the posts on FB etc about politics. I’m just so depressed. It’s hard to write dangerous situations for the books when we are in the middle of all this. Maybe I should just write happy books for a while?

  • So glad I’ve found you and your blog thanks to Christine. I use social media to share my writing and read the stories of others, to ‘meet up’ with far away friends and family, and to spread love and light. I try to just ignore and not read the negative political posts that some people decide they have to spew forth. Fortunately, most of my friends are more interested in the love and light.

  • G.B. Miller says:

    No problem with the hate on social media, since my circle is relatively small (137 and dropping). The people I do follow are pretty much open-minded most of the time. I have on occasion, muted a couple of people when their passion for a particular viewpoint overwhelms their common sense.

    I used to be part of the IWSG, but dropped out due to a lack of time and blogging burnout. I may get back to it again, but depending on my blogging state of mind, I may not.

  • Terry Lewis says:

    Can’t say I hear too much hate in dinner conversations. But certainly a lot of it on social media. What upsets me is the unwillingness of people to engage in reasonable dialogue. They can have a point of view, sure, but it is so black and white, and comments are often made with no evidence or substance. Try and reason with them or be reasonable, and unfortunately you get nowhere. That’s what I find hardest to deal with.
    Not sure how I cope with it. I suppose there is more to life than their ugly opinions, and whilst I don’t mean that to sound like I bury my head in the sand, the reality is there is so much more to enjoy. Good friends, and satisfying accomplishments come to mind. Yes the ugliness still exists, but if I can’t change it (and if they don’t want to listen, it’s pretty hard to change) then I’m not going to let it rob me of the simple joys in life, whatever they might be for each of us. And of course, I can still speak out myself, even if there are only a handful listening. It all helps.

  • simonfalk28 says:

    Damyanti, I fear I may be tempted to respond far beyond the word limit of replies! But will try for brevity. It was sad to read this post and feel the pain in it. Sad to see another person affected by the toxicity that we experience. It was because of the negativity and superficiality in news feeds and comments that I left Facebook some time ago. When I returned to Facebook, I only connected my personal profile with long term friends and family whom I could not physically see very often. For more work-type matters I have a Facebook page instead. I also came back to social media because, as some friends said, there won’t be an alternative unless some of us provide one. If we wish for more irenic social media than we need to populate our own pages with peace. WordPress however, has been much better. Blogs like yours are truly a breath of fresh air.
    As for insecurity – in writing, in life generally – ha, I’ve probably been insecure for about 80% of the the 44.5 years of my life thus far. At least I can often laugh about it these days!
    We have many different peoples in our beautiful and terrible world. But their uniqueness provides a variety in the pattern on the mosaic path of our life. The colour provided by blogs like yours is radiant. Thank you. 🙂

  • Rebecca Douglass says:

    Oh, man! Yeah, feeling insecure as a person, feeling insecure about the future of our society…I want to turn off the world until after the election (and then I can decide if I’m moving to a desert island somewhere). Makes my writerly insecurities look kind of warm and fuzzy.

    My IWSG Post

  • This is a complicated issue. We may have love for mankind but that love is too often not reciprocated. Governments have the responsibility to protect their citizens from those who would disrupt because of their hateful philosophy on either side of the divide. Government needs to control both and educate so people learn to get along with each other. Unfortunately there are governments in our world who seek to dominate and impose their philosophies on others. The question then should be to what extent do we extend love and friendship knowing it will lead to their citizens being enslaved and denied freedom? That is the difficulty our leaders have to face each day.

  • Nicola says:

    I try to look for the good, because there is plenty out there. It just seems that the nasty things in life get more publicity. Sending you lots of positive vibes and smiles across the ether. Take good care.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    I keep hoping we’ll learn and grow and become better at being human. So far that’s not happening. A lot has to do with the political scene, and I’m so disgusted that this is the first year I’m seriously thinking of ripping up the ballot. Barring that, I’m all for writing in “none of the above.”

  • I know what you mean about the mood of social media now. I can’t stand it and have cut back my time on some sites as a result.

  • strangepegs says:

    Oh, man, I lost faith in the “race” a long time ago. There are some individuals that stand out as the best of us, but humans are, overall, pretty horrible.

  • <3 we need more hearts, winks and smiles!!

  • macjam47 says:

    I am appalled by the hateful remarks spewing out of the mouths of Donald Trump and his supporters. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the acid that is coming out in this election season makes me sick. I can’t trust either side,
    Some of the comments on Facebook and Twitter are just as bad. I can’t wait until November is here so we can vote and get this all behind us. Unfortunately, I really don’t think it will end there.

  • I can’t stand that much negativity–the hate-filled messages. I avoid politics, religion, money. Too often, comments attack the writer rather than the problem. I think YouTube is one of the worst.

  • fenster says:

    It seems that once again, technology has outstripped human capacity. We somehow think every random (and often angry or hateful) thought needs to be aired and that every slight needs to be met with cruelty. The better humanity gets at handling the power of social media, the less of this ignorance and hate we will see (at least that is my hope). It can get overwhelming and often it gets me down. All we can do is push through and affect our circle of influence for the better.

  • Jennifer K says:

    The negativity has been troubling me greatly in recent weeks. I stopped watching the news a long time ago and avoiding all of that sensationalism helped for a while, but the headlines are increasingly horrible and disheartening. I’ve been unfollowing posts and “friends” on social media whenever I see hateful things posted/shared and that has made a bit of a difference in my news feed, but it is hard to avoid.
    I love #52daysofbeauty. I’d also like to see #52daysofkindness!

  • Hatred seems to be winning. Social media and TV media exploit the worst and it exacerbates the situation. So awful. So sad. What a world for our kids.

  • Hi! I’m a first-time IWSG poster so also a first-time visitor to your site. Yes, the negativity and the finger-pointing and the meanness on Facebook and elsewhere really upset me, so I stay away from much of it as best I can and never comment. Though being a part of a solution and staying informed is important, I’d much rather stick to my fiction. I’m an insecure person in general, but specifically with my writing I’ve recently decided to self-publish under a pen name with my debut releasing in several months (hopefully) and I’m so nervous that it’s not good enough, that I’m not good enough. But I’m excited to give it a try. And that excitement and a small group of motivated writer friends is drive enough to go for it. <3 Christy

  • So many of my friends are commenting on the negativity on Facebook. The political memes that take serious issues and attempt to make jokes out of them, or turning headlines into cruel statements against the other party. Every day for the past few weeks I see a post on my timeline with someone fed up with hateful posts and comments. A friend of mine is posting on a hashtag prompt about beauty. It’s #52daysofbeauty and he said with FB’s algorithms, the more he engages with posts using that share a beautiful thing prompt, the more he sees it in his feed. We need to take time to share beauty. Not to say we ignore real issues, but constantly being told you’re wrong or telling others they are wrong never leads anywhere.

    Here’s my August IWSG post on my first novel attempt (note I said ATTEMPT). YA Author Stephanie Scott IWSG August

  • I try not to talk politics as I want to retain my friends. Nothing can ruin relationships like the current political climate.

    Stephen Tremp
    IWSG Co-Host August 2016

  • Jemi Fraser says:

    Love that image. And the message.
    Those small changes we make to improve/brighten our immediate circle of the world do help and grow and filter to others. Keep them up! 🙂

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I do hate the ‘swill’ that’s generating around and fuelled by so-called ‘leaders’ – who should be setting examples; we need to think and to care more … nurture those around us … and pray that this world improves (rapidly – I hope sincerely) … cheers Hilary

  • Sha'Tara says:

    [Quote: What do you do to make yourself feel the love again? If you’re a writer, have you joined the Insecure Writers Group? What are you insecure about?]

    Hi DB… I choose compassion and love be damned: it don’t work!

    As to “Insecure Writers Group” I have that little devil in me always poking fun at support and self-help groups. They don’t work either. Insecure writer? Isn’t that like a fireman afraid of heat and flame? A high wire performer afraid of heights? Honestly, choose something else to do! I am going to start a support group for people in support groups who get frustrated supporting people in support groups who claim they want support but just want the group to support them.

    My idea of support: Hey needy person, why don’t you go on over to the doughnut shop, grab a large wet cappuccino, fill the cup half-full of sugar and combine that with a couple of the worst sugar-laden piece of disgusting desert you can find… and enjoy that rising feeling of absolutely divine guilt about it. Truly a life-changing event!

    Support groups are like bridges designed by committees. Starts at one end with an arch, changes to a cable support and ends with pylons. Forget support groups: become self-empowered and go for it, don’t look back (yakkety yak!). Ride the wild horse and if it bucks you off, corner it again, mount again and this time throw your arm out with hat in hand and don’t forget the obligarory yell: Yee-Haw!

  • It does seem like hatred runs rampant, but I think we just see it more now with social media and such.

  • BellyBytes says:

    I love your inspirational posts. Somehow you make insecurity sound ‘romantic’ . Will check out the other blog posts you have suggested particularly the sunset blog . I love sunsets and only remember to click a pic when the sun is going down!