What are your writing insecurities? Here are a few of my own!
Every writer has doubts, fears, and insecurities.
But in a world where we share the very best versions of ourselves online, the versions we want others to see, it can be hard 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. A bevy of insecurities 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 work. Insecurities are normal, and they don't have to keep us from living our best writing lives. That's why I'm sharing my own writing insecurities today—and challenging you to do the same!
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 clever turns of phrase. I work every day to excel in this arena, but 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 and word choice for hours on end. Though this level of perfectionism has its perks, I often worry that it’s preventing me from actually making progress toward the career I’d like to build.
#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 work is too character-driven.
I write medieval fantasy, which is popularly defined by its sword-and-sorcery heroes on quests to save the world. But me? I tend to write darker, more bittersweet stories driven by my character's’ inner journeys. This shift away from genre expectations makes me wonder if my stories have little chance at commercial success.
#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.
#6: I'm too confident in my storytelling.
I love my stories, but sometimes with a passion that borders on arrogance. Who wouldn’t love to read this? I can barely wait to read the finished product! But these moments often happen on a storytelling high, only for me to come off the mountain and realize that passion alone doesn’t make for a successful career. The industry is fickle, reader trends are every changing, and though there’s a reader for every story, I can’t predict what others will like.
#7: I don't actually like writing.
Say what? Sometimes I worry that I don't actually like writing, and because of that, I wonder if I should quit. It’s a silly notion—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.
I love having written, and I love revising what I've written. But the process of taking a story I know so well in my head and putting it down on paper drains me like nothing else. It’s then that this particular insecurity begins to weigh heavy!
Those are my biggest writing insecurities, friends. Now, it’s time for you to share your own! Break open a journal, make a video, write a blog post, or share with me on social media. Whatever the case, acknowledging our insecurities is a great way to begin counteracting them so we can get back to living our best writing lives!