Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Here goes...

I kind of feel like I'm at a virtual alcoholics anonymous meeting. But surely that's the first clue to the reason why I should be here. I shouldn't feel like I'm stepping up to the gallows by admitting these things. So, here goes.

My name is Sarah... and I'm an insecure writer.

On the advice of Michelle who commented on my Re-introduction post, I've decided to join the insecure writers support group, and this is my first post.

My brain is both my best friend and my worst enemy. First of all, it gives me ideas, and then it taunts me with the ever present fear of those ideas not being good enough, or my own ability isn't good enough to make them brilliant.
Here are some of the thoughts that regularly fill my brain when I'm writing:

1. "You're the only one going to find this interesting, and because you already know what's going to happen, why bother to write it down?"

As I have stated many times before, I've never completed a manuscript of my own original ideas. The most I've ever written in anything is about 20,000 words. Then the doubts creep in and I find myself unable to move forward. The main reason, because I don't think anyone else will find my ideas and my characters interesting. 

2. "You dropped English for Science when you were 16. You've never studied literature or writing, what gives you the right to think that you're just as able to write as people who spend years studying it?"

This is one of my biggest regrets in life. I've always loved literature and writing. But, it's subjective. And I felt that if I put all my eggs in the writing basket, and it turned out that statement (1) was in fact, right, then I was going to have a useless degree and no job to help me clear the debt. Though now I realise that teaching was something I wanted to do... I could have studied literature and taught it. Ergo, regret.

3. "You're such a softie. Even if you get something finished and query worthy, the rejections will break you and you'll never write again."

This is true. I know that even the best writers have gotten rejected in their time so I'm under no illusions that if I ever get around to querying, that I'll be met with a lot of rejections. And it will knock me so hard I don't think I'll be able to get up again.

4. "You're just doing this for the attention. You just want someone to tell you that you're good."

This is a constant concern of mine. I'm worried that if, above all else I like the idea of being a writer, than the actual application. Do I just want to sit in a book store with a queue forming for people who want your autograph and to tell me how much they enjoyed my book? If I could make money from writing while remaining completely anonymous, would I still be happy, or am I after this because I want a legion of adoring fans? This I can't answer.
So there's an insight into my brain. A lovely place isn't it? Well this was never going to be a cheery post. But hopefully I'll be able to conquer these and other fears with time and the support of fellow bloggers! 
As for now, I'm off to see John Green in Dublin for his TFIOS tour. Lots of buses and trains but it will be so worth it.

Sarah x


  1. Hi Sarah, welcome to the IWSG!

    I can identify with all of the 4 points above, and I liked some of your turns of phrase, for whatever that's worth.

    I don't think having an English/Literature education is necessary, in fact having a science background might help you think more structurally, and would definitely help if you write something set in a scientific/medical setting...

    Best of luck with everything!

  2. I hope having an English/Literature education isn't necessary, since I don't have one. I have a science background. I think it's helped me be a better researcher and I'm analytical when it comes to editing my stories. That helps big time.

  3. I would stay with your real name. Why not? Its the real you. Go with it. And have fun meeting people at signings and other events. That's half the fun. Good luck to you!

    And please turn off your Captcha / Word Verification. Thanks!

  4. My brain is a lot like yours. I have learned to turn those voices off when they start. Just ask them to go away. Replace them with positive voices, if you can. Not easy, but it is possible. Good luck.

  5. You're not alone, Sarah. I haven't met a writer ever who didn't feel this way somewhere along the way. You know what works for me most days (except when I have the flu, like I do now)? I make a unconscious effort to remember why I write. Because I don't know how to not write. It's not about fame or fortune, it's about being you. And if you need to write, then that's why you will do.

    Happy IWSG!

  6. I would submit that in many cases writing fiction does not require as much a degree in creative writing as is does a love for it.

    Here's an example:

    I have a degree in Information Technology - my boss doesn't. Does that make him less qualified? He studies on his own, has worked in his spare time and is very passionate about his love of computer systems and application development.

    If we insisted that only people with a degree in IT could work in computers we would not have all of the advanced technology we have now.

    Same with Fiction - If only those with a degree in English / Literature were allowed to writing we would not have the diverse choices in Literature we have now.

    Think of how many really good Authors with big names didn't have degrees. Make a list and keep it - for those times when the doubt creeps in.

    Also Welcome to #IWSG :)


I love reading your comments!