What are your writing insecurities? Here are a few of my own!
Every writer has doubts. Fears. Insecurities.
But in a world where we share the very best version of ourselves online, the version we want others to see, it can be difficult to remember that the writers we follow on social media aren't perfect. Not even the bestselling ones.
I'm certainly no exception to this reality. I have a bevy of insecurities that often weigh down my writing life, but I'm tired of letting the pressure to live up to other writers' online highlight reels dictate my confidence in my writing. Insecurities are normal, and they don't have to keep you from living your very best writing life.
That's why I'm sharing my own writing insecurities today. Check them out in the video below or scroll to view them in text!
Sharing My Writing Insecurities...
#1: My prose isn't good enough.
There are writers who love storytelling, there are writers who love language, and there are the lucky unicorns who excel at both.
I am a storyteller. I live for plots and character development and theme. But language? Well, I'm not the greatest. I don't have a very expansive vocabulary, nor do I excel at metaphors or lyrical prose.
And though I still work day in and day out to improve my prose, I often doubt I'll ever write well enough to have my novels published.
#2: My perfectionism is holding me back.
I'm definitely Type A, and my desire to be the best I can be and improve my work to the point of mastery often leads me to pore over every comma, every word choice, etc. for hours on end.
I often worry that this level of perfectionism, though it has its perks, is preventing me from actually making progress toward building the writing career I desire to one day achieve.
#3: My stories aren't publishable.
With series like A Song of Ice and Fire and Throne of Glass currently dominating Adult and Young Adult fantasy, it's plain to see that medieval fantasy is wildly popular.
But because of this, I occasionally get concerned that my own stories (which are indeed medieval fantasies) will no longer fit into market trends when I'm finally ready to query.
Though every trend eventually comes back around, I do hope that readers aren't entirely sick of medieval fantasy by the time my stories are ready to be published.
#4: My characters aren't likable.
I write medieval fantasy, but my characters are by no means classic heroes. Most can reasonably be called "grey" characters (a.k.a. deeply flawed, amoral, or apathetic characters).
I also tend to writer darker, more bittersweet stories based on my character's inner journeys, so needless to say, my heroes aren't always very...heroic. And I worry that people won't like them because of this.
But then I look at the popularity of books like A Game of Thrones and remember that I'm certainly not the only reader who loves grey characters, even if they aren't the most likable folks in the world.
#5: I'm not dedicated enough to be a writer.
Most full-time writers publish new books once, if not twice, a year. But in the five years I've been writing seriously, I've yet to complete a manuscript and begin querying.
The first 2.5 of those years were dedicated solely to learning the craft and making a TON of storytelling mistakes. But sometimes I still worry that I'll never be able to write fast enough to cut it in this industry.
Then I remember that I'm not a full-time writer, that I still write in the margins of my life and that I'm still very much a fledgling, and I feel a bit better about my writing process.
#6: I'm too confident in my storytelling.
I love my stories...perhaps a bit too much, however. Sometimes, I get so passionate about the stories I'm telling that I wonder how in the world agents, publishers, and readers wouldn't love to get their hands on them. This, of course, is pretty arrogant.
The publishing industry is so fickle, and success isn't often bestowed simply because a writer is passionate. Besides, who am I to say I know what agents, publishers, or readers will love? Remembering this, I often wonder if I'm too confident in my stories, if perhaps I'm setting myself up for disappointment.
That said, I don't think it's wrong to have confidence in my work. After all, every writer needs to believe in their stories if they want to one day build their writing careers!
#7: I don't actually like writing.
Say what?! Yes. Sometimes I worry that I don't actually like writing, that I should quit. This is, of course, ridiculous. I'd never be able to drag myself from the page to begin with, but the entirety of this insecurity stems from the fact that I hate the actual process of writing a book.
However, I LOVE having written. And I love revising what I've written, too. It's the process of taking a story I already know so well in my head and putting it down on paper that drives me absolutely nuts.
Without fail, whenever drafting gets tough, this insecurity tries to wreak havoc on my writing life. To learn how I felt back, check out last week's video!
Do the shiny internet lives of some of your favorite writers ever leave you feeling like you'll never be good enough? Let's break down the social media highlight reel by sharing our writing insecurities!
I'd love for you to put together your own video or blog post on this topic (don't forget to link me!). Or, if you'd rather, simply share some of your writing insecurities with me in the comments below!