Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May IWSG & How to Beat Manuscript Codependency

The Insecure Writer's Support Group  post day is the perfect time to publicly announce my admittance. I am a manuscript codependent. According to Wiki, the term codependency refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. In my case, "another" refers to my current manuscript and my need to control it.

When it comes to my manuscript, I have extreme control issues. It can't survive or get better without me. Nobody can help, but me. I put my manuscript above the care & feeding of myself. This is no bueno. Eating is essential. And if you want people to like you, showering, is too.

Having a history with codependency, I can relate the condition to my writing.

Learning when to let it go... to beta readers, is crucial. So, if you're anything like me, this may help. I've come up with twelve steps to recovery.

The 12 Steps of Recovery for Manuscript Codependents

  1. Admit you’re powerless over the darned manuscript, and your writerly life has become unmanageable.
  2. Make the decision to turn over your manuscript to a few trusted beta readers.
  3. Beg, plead, or coerce them to read your manuscript.
  4. With the help of these brave beta readers, you may regain a shred of sanity.
  5. While waiting for betas to finish, do something completely different.
  6. Consider all ideas / suggestions from betas (They may see what you can’t or won't.).
  7. Make an honest, fearless list of what sucks about your manuscript.
  8. Admit to yourself and everyone around you what sucks about your manuscript.
  9. Make the decision to fix what sucks about your manuscript.
  10. Humbly thank everyone who pointed out your manuscript’s shortcomings.
  11. Through blood, sweat, and tears, rewrite that darned thing.
  12. After having a spiritual awakening with your revised manuscript, as a result of these steps, carry this message to other manuscript codependents, and help them see the light.
Chuck Wendig offers hilarious revision tips. Warning: He is prone to dropping the f-bomb.


From the IWSG website: Purpose: To share and encourage. 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! Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. 

If you're interested in joining the Insecure Writer's Support Group, click on the link above. You can also visit them on Facebook.