Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's that day again!
Wow - how does the first Wednesday in every month come around so quickly?!

Do you ever wish, even just for a moment, that you'd never started this writing lark?

I sometimes look back to days when my evenings and weekends were just filled with... well, ordinary things like reading, cooking, watching tv, the odd bit of housework... and feel a little pang of nostalgia.

I always wanted to be a writer.  I wrote voraciously through my teens, confident that one day it would be my 'proper' job.  However, life doesn't go according to plan, as we all know, and I was 39 before I found myself with (almost!) enough time on my hands to consider giving it a go.  I'd never stopped writing - in my head.  I'd scribble notes on the back of receipts - anything - when out or on holiday and an idea or a line of dialogue struck me; I just never had time to use them.

Now, I am so, so grateful to have had my short stories accepted and published, but the pressure I'm feeling is sometimes so huge I feel the need to hide.  I'm the one applying this pressure, of course, but the stress of finding enough time to write around my day job, of waiting for acceptance or rejection, of wanting to write and having to sit and make small talk with the MiL instead, sometimes makes me feel like tearing my hair out.

I know that I won't give up.  I tried to a couple of years ago and came slinking back to the laptop eventually.   If you're a writer, it's just there, inside you.  Convincing others that you're a writer with something to say that's worth reading is the hard part, and sometimes, with the novel that I want to write but am yet afraid to start looming over me, I wonder if I can really do it.

I've come to the conclusion that it's fine to feel insecure and beaten at times - it's probably much healthier than rolling along on a calm, confident sea and becoming complacent.  There's much further to fall from there!

:)  Linda


Sarah Pearson said...

I do sometimes wonder what would happen if I just switched off the computer and did something totally unwriting-like, but I just can't picture it!

You're right that insecurity is better than complacency :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

You're so right that being a writer is always with you - impossible to give up (I also tried for a short time). And I guess insecurity makes yearn to be better.

Nancy Thompson said...

Oh my gosh, all I can say is that, yes, sometimes I wish I had never started this.

When I was ignorant of how much I loved writing, I had other things to occupy my time, things that didn't require me to have an agent to succeed. I could do it all on my own. But now I have this goal to get published and it's all-consuming and more important than almost everything else, except my kid, of course.

I wish I didn't have to work so hard to find an agent just so I could reach my dream. It makes it seem so unattainable sometimes. And that makes me wish I never started all this. I wouldn't know what I was missing and maybe I'd be happier.

But then I realize how much I DO love writing and that I will never give up on it, especially with all the blogger friends I have now.

Jessica Salyer said...

Sometimes I wish I never started blogging. It has taken a lot of time away from writing, but then I wouldn't have met all these wonderful people. We all have doubts sometimes and pressures we put on ourselves. How we deal with them says the most about us. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I blogged for a year then gave up beause I just wanted to focus on writing my book, which I eventually finished (yet to be published). But I missed the community of writers - their support, inspiration and so forth. Obviously I'm back now. I think it's finding a balance between blogging and writing your novel, short story etc. Not easy to do, I admit. Keep Writing! :)