Being a writer has always been my greatest passion. I love to create worlds that others can get lost in. I love creating conflict and then coming up with solutions. All I want is to give as many happy endings a possible (except for you, Rochester Reaping. You were a one-time deal.)
I was actually very recently asked why? Why do I like to write? Why did I choose writing when there are literally thousands of other things I could do?
That answer is simple. I am a storyteller. I was born with a gift and I intend to use it until I take my last breath. I love creating magic. I love offering an escape to people because books were my escape when I was little. The imagination is such a wonderful thing – but it can also drive you crazy.
Like everyone else who requires a beating heart and oxygen to survive, I have moments of self-doubt. Sometimes it’s crippling. I find myself on the brink of tears when I open up a word document and my characters refuse to talk.
But do you know what’s worse? When they are more than willing to speak to you, but there’s just something blocking you from taking the next step. It could be a small thing, really, the simplest thing. But that doesn’t make it any less maddening for the person who holds the pen.
I struggle a lot when I am writing. There are days when all I can think is, “Man, I really suck at this. Why do I even try?”
Sometimes that happens when I’m up for a certain award and I’ve been placed against authors I know are a thousand times better than me. Well, no. Maybe that’s not true. I don’t really believe that any single author is better than the next. We all have something unique to offer to readers and there are plenty of readers, trust me. But my confidence really gets tested when I find myself contending against someone better known than myself. It’s discouraging. It can get downright depressing, too.
But I try not to let that get to me too much. Awards don’t mean everything. And to be quite honest with you, most awards are just popularity contests and I think I dealt with those enough in school. For instance, I was once up for election to the student council when I was a sophomore in high school. I could have been the secretary and I personally think I would have been a heck of a secretary, but I didn’t get picked because I wasn’t one of the popular kids.
That’s just how high school is, and sometimes I feel that’s how it is in the indie world, too.
Unless you have 500+ street team members, you don’t stand a chance in those things.
But I’m not bitter about it, you know? The only thing I get bitter about is when my characters decide to take my story and turn it into something else.
I HAD IT PLANNED, YOU KNOW. I ACTUALLY MAPPED IT OUT THAT TIME. HOW DARE YOU?
If you think you’re in control, you’re wrong.
This blog post is all over the place, innit? My bad.
Anyway, back to what I was originally saying. Sometimes self-doubt just sucks. We all have those moments and we question our ability, but stop and think about it, okay?
If you have a moment, google the Tangled memes that are meant for authors. They pretty much nail it. You can go from “I’m awesome!” to “God, I suck.” within a few seconds. This happens to me at least 5 times a day, if not more.
Right now I’d like to think I’m in a pretty good groove. I’ve written about 17,000 words since December 26th and I’m *hoping* I may have this particular story finished up by the end of the month. However, I won’t hold my breath because I know what will happen.
It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will happen soon enough.
“Why do I bother? Why am I even trying? Nobody is going to read this. This is crap. I’m crap. Ugh. I shouldn’t be a writer.”
But then somebody kicks me in the rump and gets me back on track.
It’s completely normal to doubt yourself from time to time, but please promise me you’ll also believe in yourself. You truly have to believe the sky’s the limit to make it around here. You have to take that leap of faith. You have to keep moving forward even if you don’t want to. Trust your characters and trust your skills. You can do this.
This is a pretty pointless blog post, eh? Well, you can’t say I didn’t try.
I just wanted you – yes, you, whoever you may be – to know you aren’t alone. We’re all in this together and no matter what anybody says, it’s not a competition. Don’t be discouraged even though it’s easy to do.
Just keep writing, little darling. Get your story out there because the world needs it and no one can tell it quite like you!
Follow me on FACEBOOK.