I’m take a short break from Writing 101 to address an important question. No really, I’m being serious…Kirsten stop giggling. Do you want another bucket of ice water?
I’m sure that each and every one of us has had the same moment of doubt in our careers. I know I have it on an almost nightly basis, especially when a muse sends me one of their stories to beta (how can they all be so good? Send me crap once in a while…please.). When I read back over my work, I can’t bear it. Every word feels forced, every sentence clichéd. I sit at the screen, hands poised on the keyboard and think, what am I doing?
But, I carry on. Every night, I’m back at my desk and I’m writing.
When I write, while my hands dance across the keys and the words flow across the page, I forget all the doubt. I lose myself completely in the story — my story. That idea I can’t get out of my head, the one that keeps me up at night, needs to be exorcised and the only way I know to do it is to write.
Does that make me a writer? Of course it does. Anyone who puts pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard, is a writer: it’s not that hard. What is hard is what comes after: the months and months of rewrites, the knowledge that the scene you loved so much just doesn’t work and has to go, and the constant need to produce the greatest thing you’ve ever written.
Sure, there are writers out there who will do the absolute minimum. They write, they edit, sometimes they even spellcheck and then they release their creation into the world to wrought carnage. These are the writers that give us all cause for concern, the ones that belittle everything we work so hard for. Their disregard for basic standards doesn’t matter so long as their books sell. And, as much as it pains me to say it, these people are writers.
What WE are are perfectionists, uncompromising of quality. We are people of insatiable curiosity, possessors of an unbridled love of the written word, of the poetry of language — WE ARE WRITERS.
I, am GROOT! I mean A WRITER! Yeah! I’m a writer. Woo.
In all seriousness though, good to see I’m not alone in these particular feels. Keep going.
You are a fabulous writer. You (along with 99% of writers) just suffer from ‘Writer’s Confidence’ aka you don’t have much. That lack of confidence in your writing can be dangerous and needs to be caught in a wild bear trap and tamed to do your bidding. You can’t kill it, it’s there to make sure you don’t release drivel into the world, but you need to control it’s effects so that the bear of writing confidence doesn’t get between you and your writing goals, roaring and swiping with it’s paws, making you poop your Sarcastic Muse Pants.
Chris and Michelle: Are you listening? Naomi is talking to you and she’s saying good stuff that might sound familiar. 🙂 That’s also one of the great things about writer friends you trust. They won’t let you release drivel, but trust them when they say it’s ready.
Pardon? Sorry, I wasn’t listening. I…erm…had something in my eye.
Sorry, I left my ears at home. 😀
Writing and perfectionism go together like peanut butter and pickles. It is so difficult to stop editing, to find a happy place to actually push the publish button on a story or post. But, in the end, for me at least, it’s not about what actually gets cast out into the world for others to consumed. It’s the feeling we discover while we are writing that keeps us all coming back again and again. Keep writing, it is who we are 😉
I grew up eating peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches lol. But yes, I’m one of those writers that will “fine tune” until the other muses take it away and tell me it’s time.
For me it’s the feeling of having written. After writing, something inside me feels a lot lighter. But yes, we are writers — whether we like it or not (whether we like what we write or not, too). 😛
I felt the need to shout “this is Sparta” after that. Good post!
Feel free. I do it all the time. Makes the demon in the “lair” jump. He’s a bad boy. Who’s a bad boy? You are. Yes you are.
*giggles* You’re a damn fine writer, Chris. I’m only laughing because I like seeing you drenched in ice water. 🙂
Not sure how to take that 😉
It is funny how we all think that of ourselves. Your work is phenomenal and you have nothing to fret about. I have yet to read a single clichéd sentence written by your hand.
Wow, I’m not the only one who sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night thinking that the book I’m writing is complete crap? LOL!
Artists throw “sketches” in the garbage all the time, and other people pick them up and frame them.
We need to remember than we are artists as well.
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