In my last post, Mortification, I discussed how panic set in upon rereading an older story I had written and thinking that it wasn’t any good. I had several thoughtful and encouraging responses about my writing. (Thanks, peeps!)
Before I posted Mortification, a brief thought flitted through my mind. I wondered if I was being self-indulgent in revealing fears about my writing. You see, perhaps 95 percent of the time, I feel okay about my writing. The process keeps me entertained and I’m especially pleased when my writing gets me to feel strong emotion – laughing, crying, being surprised. Then there’s that 5 percent of the time when doubt floods my mind and shakes me to the core. That’s when I wonder why I spend so much time writing and whether I could be doing something more productive. Even without outside encouragement from my husband, my kids, and my peeps, that thought lasts maybe two-and-a-half seconds. I can’t imagine life without writing. It’s like breathing for me.
While it seems self-indulgent to write about a fear that doesn’t strike often, the fact is that the fear is there, nonetheless, and I wanted people to know that, especially other writers. If you question your own writing, you are not alone. The most effective way to deal with the situation is to keep writing. (It also helps tremendously if you have a gang of cheerleaders.)