There’s nothing worse than good ol’ self doubt. It is one of those things that will just come up out of nowhere, knock you around, and then kick you while you’re down. Nobody likes that; it’s no fun for anyone. —
I noticed recently that when someone asks me what I’m doing with my life I always give the same casual response: Not a whole lot. — In all reality, something inside of me is just dying to say that I’m writing. To tell them that I’m a writer, it’s what I do, and I love it. — Only, then they give me the look. You know the one, that “haha, no really, what are you doing?” look. — Yeah, my least favorite look for sure.
When I was in high school I just knew I wanted to write. I told my literature teacher that & he very politely told me that my writing was too predictable and so it wasn’t very good. — Well, talk about a confidence booster. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of that when I start plotting away at a story. I come up with characters, stories, and ideas that I love. I start to work it all out, I start to feel what I’m writing, and then I remember those words. — “too predictable & not very good.” — So then I end up trying to twist my plot & characters around to make sure it’s not “too predictable” and before I know it there’s no joy in it anymore.
I told a family member a few years later that I wanted to be a writer. I was then informed that writing is not a real career, it doesn’t make good money, and it’s a waste of a perfectly good future. — To this day I think of that every time someone asks me what I’m doing with my life. —
I said all that to say this: Self doubt is bad enough as it is, but the killer… that’s the critics. The ones that look at writers like they’re being impractical & living in a fantasy land. (Okay, so maybe some of us live in a fantasy land of sorts, but even when we do we’re sure to put it on paper for a good story.) — I need to start being more vocal about what I do and about my plans for the future. I need to forget what others have to say about my ability to write. Yeah, sure, there will be people out there that won’t like a word of what I write… but I can’ t let the ones who doubt me in the beginning convince me to give up on it. — Because despite what my old literature teacher thought and what my relative said, I know there will be readers out there that enjoy what I write. — I have to keep writing it for them. I have to keep remembering that writing is what I’m good at, it’s how I connect with people, and it’s my way of making a difference.
To some, it means nothing. To me it means everything. — I’m horrible with grammar most days. I am literally the queen of comma splices, and I back up & retype paragraphs more than should be considered legal… BUT I love it. I love every moment of it. I love getting lost in the lives I’ve created in my characters. I love that I enjoy what I do. I love watching everything come together. I even love the frustration & headaches when I just can’t seem to get it right. Crazy, I know.
The thing is that I’m not good one-on-one with people. I’m horrible with conversations. I can’t seem to get the thoughts in my head to make sense when I’m speaking, however when I sit down to write, everything flows like it should.
Some people aren’t sure what they’re meant for… I am. I just have to forget about the critics, and remember that I don’t write for them. I write for me, and then I write for the ones that will love my books someday. — We don’t do it for the critics, because if that were the case, there would be no point in it… and I’d hate to live in a world where there was no point in writing. (or joy in reading! :))