Defeating The Doubts

on June 3, 2011

All writers are familiar with the urge to downplay our writing, our talent, our chances of reaching publication. If you’re a writer who has never entertained doubts, my perch hat is off to you. But I like to think most are in the same boat I am, wading in a sea of angst and fear.

Misery loves company and all that cliché malarkey.

But I’m trying to change this habit. I doubt I can stomp it out entirely, but I’d like to at least pummel it into submission.

I’m starting with this post.

I know how to write. I know how to create a story, build characters, write with humor, and put a smile on someone’s face. I’ve taken workshops and e-courses, studied craft books, and experimented with my own writing enough to see improvement and gain confidence. I don’t know it all, but I know more than I give myself credit for.

I have read religiously since age eight. Romance since age thirteen. That’s thirty years of absorbing worlds, characters, stories and author voices. I may not have an English degree or an MFA, but I will no longer feel inferior because these certificates do not adorn my walls.

Time and time again I’ve heard writing is a solitary endeavor. And in some ways, it is. But today, with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and various other social media platforms, writing has become a communal endeavor. I’m making a concerted effort to find a place in this community, but admit to feeling as if I’m back in high school all over again.

I left high school more than two decades ago, yet I become that pimply, overweight girl who felt ignored. Dismissed, Inferior. It’s so easy to tweet or post a blog to little or no response and convince myself I’m not cool enough or interesting enough to be taken seriously. Don’t even get me started on the rejection emails in my inbox.

No more.

I will keep writing, revising, and submitting. I’m good enough to publish and the only way to get there is to keep trying. But I’m old enough to know, if I don’t believe I’m worthy, neither will an agent or editor.

From now on, I believe.