Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Writing Wednesdays: At the Intersection of Confidence and Doubt

Today I noticed that a couple of my bloggy friends seem to be dealing with some writer insecurities, everything from critiquing, to pitching, to calling oneself a writer.  Since this is something I face constantly, I felt a little sad on their behalf, but I also felt a little grateful, because if there's one thing I've learned from joining this community, it's that we're all going through the same thing. There is a great deal of comfort in knowing I'm not alone.

Writers seem to be a particularly insecure group. This isn't surprising, considering we're putting our souls on paper and then sending them out for the whole world to see. We deal with rejection on a constant basis, whether from critique partners, agents, publishers, or - at the lowest points - even ourselves. I'm personally wading through the query trenches at the moment, so rejection is something I face on a weekly basis (actually, I haven't gotten that many rejections yet, so I either have a lot of no-responses, or the agents just haven't gotten to me yet; either way, I know it's coming).

Then again, none of us would be putting ourselves through this if we didn't believe on some level that our stories deserve to be published, that our voices and our characters need to be heard, and that we have something worth saying. It's a strange place to be, on the one hand feeling like a complete loser who is wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere, and on the other hand feeling like this is our calling, that this is what we are meant to do.

Yesterday I ran across this quote, and I wanted to share it with all my writing friends, because it's so positive and hopeful that it just feels true.

“Loving your subject, you will write about it with the spontaneity and enthusiasm that will transmit itself to your reader. Loving your reader, you will respect him and want to please him. You will not write down to him. You will take infinite pains with your work. You will write well. And if you write well, you will get published.” --Lee Wyndham

All I can say is, I hope Ms. Wyndham is right.

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