My route to writing was natural, but not academic. Writing has always been second nature. Growing up, teachers told me I had a knack for writing and grammar/punctuation. The product of an engineer father and a poet mother, I majored in finance but took every English elective I could fit in my schedule.
Until last week, I'd never been a member of an in-person writing group. My first novel, co-authored with my mother, was a passion project and took ten years. Although it was well-received, my monster convinces me that it was a fluke.
I wonder if I should get a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, take more writing courses, and/or throw myself into all things author. In the last year, I have embraced the writing community. I've discovered some talented writers and amazing books. Sometimes I find this encouraging, other times my monster uses it to make me question my own writer status.
I'm left wondering, who the hell do I think I am?
Then, I'll pick up a book with obvious and upsetting editing issues or a boring story, and my muse will start to take over again. I can do this. Yes I can. Yes I can.
Now to find the balance. The highs and lows of writing have really surprised me. When I was in the closet, there was no pressure or worry. I wrote for the pure love of writing. Now that I've declared myself an author, my monster lurks around every review, critique, blog post, wordcount, and so on.
Knowledge may be power, but it's also overwhelming. There are so many how-to articles on writing good novels and row after row of craft books. Am I supposed to read them all, consider them all when I write? My head is spinning. Sometimes I miss the days of writing in a vacuum. Now I feel like my writing is an open wound.
Where do you turn when the insecurity monster takes over?
My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update
Writing: I struggled to write 1,019 words toward my WIP this week. I'm proud that I didn't give up, but I'd like the wide-eyed optimism and confidence of the pre-publication girl back.
Reading: Just finished two amazing books. Both reviews will be up this week on Mom in Love with Fiction. (These two books coupled with several writer friends signing contracts lately have created the perfect environment for the monster to take over.)
Social Media: I'm struggling to stay above water. It's such a time sucker, although a productive one. Time is cowering in a corner with my muse lately.
Editing: Insecurity is taking over here, too. I think I'm helpful and have an "eye" for errors and missing story elements, but I've never actually done a beta read or critique in a writing group setting. I'm wondering if I need some classes to gain confidence, and not just trust my "knack" for editing. So many questions lately.
Many congratulations to my newly contracted/signed writing buddies. I couldn't be happier. The writer side of me respects your achievement and journey, and the reader side of me can't wait to read your books!