Insecurity. The thing that has resulted in me sitting here for ages trying to think of what to write so that you wont all think I’m silly. That.
I love writing, I always have. I love the feeling I get when I write something down and it gives me a buzz, the feeling when I’ve managed to put into words exactly what’s in my head. But that doesn’t make it good. Being able to do something is no guarantee that you’ll do it well.
To even call myself a writer is a huge step. I write, therefore I am a writer. But to go around calling yourself one is just drawing attention to yourself, you’re putting yourself out on display, asking people to judge you. This is the bit I don’t like. It’s like turning myself inside out or walking around naked. Everything is there, all the little thoughts in my head, for everyone to see. By putting it out there I must think it’s good, but I somehow have a problem with people knowing I think it’s good.
Fear is healthy apparently, it means you don’t get complacent. It’s the fear that means you keep going at it until it’s as good as you think you can make it, but even then you still don’t think it’s good enough. You can get 20 positive comments about your writing and feel on a high, amazed that someone out there actually gets what’s going on in your head. Then, someone will say one negative thing. It wont even be that bad, but it will cancel out all the other comments. For some reason you’ll believe that over all the others, who you assume are clearly bonkers.
Then, just because one story/blog post/novel is good it doesn’t mean that the next one will be. Maybe you’ve only got one good piece of work in you and that was it and everyone will feel awkward for you. Maybe it wont be as good as the last one and everyone will feel awkward for you. Maybe it will be much better than the last one and everyone will feel awkward for you.
Compliments make me want to go straight back and write. They also make me want to give up as I can’t imagine being able to manage it again. It doesn’t get any easier, in fact it gets harder as you feel that people expect more from you. There’s also the risk that people will think you’re being arrogant (see H for Hubris post).
So either way you’re stuffed. See? And now I’ve told everyone what’s really going on in my head and everybody is feeling awkward for me. I can feel it.