Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's face it

I'll admit it. Most of the time, I think my writing sucks, and that no one in their right mind could really like it. I read it. And read it again. And look at the words, little black marks on a big white screen, and say: "Can I ever make it? Will I ever be among the names that people think of as great writers, or will I live on in eternity as the girl who tried but never made it."

It is those moments when I stop and glare stare at the little black marks and want to cry. Hard.

The trick is, to not give up.

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It is so easy to just say it isn't good enough, no one will care, and it will never work. It is simple to let the dream fade and erase the passion of yesterday on today's blank walls (or pages). But I can't. I can't let go.
I think this is something we all go through, that feeling of insecurity, of not being good enough, of seeing all that is out there and going: "How can I fit into that?"
The thing is, I doubt any of those famous writers ever dreamed they would be the next hit, the star of the century, with fans reading their books centuries after they are dead. Some of them never even got to see their glory. Some of them never witnessed the day when their passion grew to be other's too. But the point is, they didn't give up. They didn't stop. They didn't let the discouragement drag them down.
What is your wall? Where do you sit when you can't face the little black marks again, knowing what they are?  Can you ignore the water pooling in your belly that threatens to put out the flame of your passion?

The truth is I will all always feel inadequate. I will always feel like a failure. Nobody ever was fully satisfied with anything. That is why we always strive for better, work it again, change it around. The power of words is you can use them over and over and over again ~ the very same ones ~ and they can be varied into a hundred different ways!
So the key is to find satisfaction in my craft. It won't be perfect. I can't look at it expecting it to be. I am human. It is my nature to fail and to be flawed.

It is time to look at my work and see the beauty of it.

I am the worst person for critiquing my own writing. I type it out and then mash it up into tiny bits, analyzing each word, working out every sentence, changing all the nouns around a million times until my poor brain is so frazzled I leave it in an unreadable mass.
I groan. I type it again. I die. Then I delete it. I press undo. I change it again. I rearrange the structure, thinking maybe if I start it with a clause, or maybe a interjection, it might be better. I hate it. I write what I started with again.
Some day, I'm going to learn to just accept it for what it is. The imperfect ramblings of an imperfect girl. And that day will be glorious.
For now, I will weep. Tear my hair out. Trash my novels. Agonize over each little word. Teach myself to breath deeply and not scream. Spend days trying to figure out if I look good in wigs and wondering if it might just be best to delete the whole thing.
But the good thing is (am I in my write mind?), so will you.
And together, we can learn to let our writing be just that. Our writing. It can be beautiful just the way it is.
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  1. *sniff, sniff*

    I always feel like an utter failure as a writer. At the moment particularly (trying to write queries and realizing I'm...doomed). But I loved this post! Encouraging! The biggest thing I personally struggle with (as a writer anyway) is self doubt.

    This line is AWESOME: "It can be beautiful just the way it is." *sniff* Anyone got a tissue?

  2. We're all in this nasty little box - the thing is to keep writing, because as you keep writing, your first drafts and second drafts get better and better every time, and there's less to meddle with.

    Besides, I always argue there's a great beauty in certain imperfections.

  3. I think all authors never think themselves good enough. We pick apart our work too much. But, as you said, we must keep on. The authors who made it are the ones who didn't give up. (Even some of the famous ones almost gave up from time to time.)

    Discouragement goes with the job. And battling it is all part of the task. And it isn't fun, but hopefully it will be worth it someday