All artists suffer from insecurity. I don’t pretend to understand it. You don’t see engineers plagued by it or doctors or bail bondsmen. It just curses those in the arts. We are so creative that we even find new and innovative ways to feel insecure. It alleviates the boredom I suppose.
I’m at a crossroads, a time for hard decisions about moving forward. It seems like insecurity is even worse during these times. I’ll second guess myself six ways from Sunday before it’s all said and done (how’s that for two clichés in a row?). Sometimes these crossroads serve a positive purpose, and it’s our own human insecurities that make the path appear wrought with danger.
Writers face rejection so consistently that facing the insecurity of a crossroads almost seems like a relief because this is at least something I control. I can’t control the rejections, the bad reviews, the crappy writing days, but I control the decisions I make. Regardless of how it turns out, as long as I make the decision with the best interests of my writing in mind, I can consider it a win.
How do you face hard decisions?
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)
Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Sheena-kay Graham, Suzanne Furness, and Laura Eno.
Everyone knows about rejection. Writers live it, in fact, all artists do. We all talk about that nature of what we do. The problem is no one, and I mean no one, but another artist understands what we do. The average reader thinks books appear through some bizarre act of diffusion from the brain to the page in their entirety and ready to sell. They believe every talented writer finds an agent immediately and sells their books quickly. They believe writers make a lot of money. They believe everyone with talent is on top of the Times Best Seller list.
Therefore, if you are a writer and haven’t seen that level of success, you are obviously without talent. I suppose in a way this is another form of rejection, back-handed as it is.
Like any job seeker, writers find themselves getting to the last interview and not making that final cut. Now, obviously talent took them that far, but to the outside world…nada. When the outside world assumes you’re a failure, it can be all to easy to succumb to their assumptions. It’s what has left many a talented writer behind. In fact, what really leads someone to publish is much different. Luck or strong will. The ones who publish easily had luck on their side. The others had to keep up the fight long after others fell.
As one of my favorite writers, Nancy Pickard, once said, “Show me a published writer, and I’ll show you a stubborn son of a bitch.”
As writers, those are words to write by.