Today, the subject of my post is going to be insecurity.
How good is insecurity? Well, to be honest it’s kind of crap. But it’s kind of crap in a good way, at least when you’re a writer. Or maybe I should rephrase that. It’s kind of good in a crap way.
Okay, give me a few minutes and I’ll see if I can sort it out.
I’m insecure. Always have been. It’s just another one of those neuroses I talked about in a post a few weeks ago. I’m never quite sure of myself. Never certain about where I stand with people. Constantly changing my mind abut things. I can’t help it. It’s just who I am.
Now when you’re a writer, those feelings of insecurity get ramped up about a thousand times. What the hell am I doing? Is my story good enough? Can I really claim for myself the title of writer, or am I just a complete fraud?
And it gets even worse if you actually go into a bookshop. I can tell you, there’s no experience that will do more to fan the flames of insecurity. The sight of all those other books sitting on the shelves is enough to get your brain working overtime, and not in a good way.
Look at all the books out there. Look at all those other writers who had no problems getting their books published. How can I possibly compete with such successful people? And with all the books that are already there, why would I even consider thinking it’s worth adding another one?
Yes, I can tell you, that’s the life of an insecure writer. It’s a pretty crappy thing. Except, it’s also a pretty good thing.
All those feelings of insecurity can be a fantastic driver and motivator. So I think my work-in-progress is not as good as those other books out there. What am I going to do about it? So I think I’m not as accomplished as all those other writers. What am I going to do about it?
I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it. I’m going to work even harder than before. I’m going to put in the effort to make my book as good as it can be. I’m going to learn and improve and try to get better and better as a writer. I’m going to take advantage of those feelings of insecurity, which are most likely never going to go away, and use them in the best possible way.
Because that’s the life of a writer. Insecurity is our curse. But it’s also our blessing.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as