Friday, January 17, 2014

A Writer's Fragile Confidence

Most writers are in a state of gloom most of the time; they need perpetual reassurance.

If you're anything like me, you spend a lot of time doubting yourself. You'll have good day and bad days. Some days the Muse will sing and you'll feel great and every word your write seems like gold. Other days (and sometimes usually the next day), you reread your stuff or try writing something new and you feel like it's garbage, amateurish stuff.

And it's okay to feel that way. The above quote reminds us that we do need reassurance. But, does that always need to come from someone else? When do we be confident enough in our writing? Sadly, I don't think I'll ever be that way.

It's taken years for me to take criticism and listen. Confidence is something completely different. There's always that lingering doubt in my mind about my writing. There's that impish little devil on my shoulder stabbing with his pitch fork telling me I'm not meant to be a writer. I don't have to listen to him, but I do hear that voice, that doubt.

Non-writers have no idea the angst writers go through when they put their work out there. I've sent off the first forty pages of my novel to a circle of friends and I'm terrified of what they'll think. What if they think the last 3 months of work is crap? What if they tell me that I should quit the writing thing?

The one thing I can say for certain is that writing is in my blood. It's something I can't escape, something I can't not do. I enjoy doing it as well as struggle with doing it, but I can't see myself not doing it. Maybe I'll get some negative feedback, but I'll roll with it. Their opinion is not going to change what I want to do. It might be an indicator of my progress as a writer and might highlight what I need to fix. I won't give up. I might not have a hell of a lot of confidence, but I'm damn persistent!

The only thing I can do is keep writing...

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