Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Insecure Writer's Support Group
On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities. So here we go.
As a person, I am generally insecure. As a writer, not so much.
Or so I thought until I started thinking about sharing my work with people. That was a thought most unthinkable.
It's not that I'm afraid they won't like it. Quite the opposite actually; I'm afraid they'll say they like it and I won't know if they're telling me the truth. Yeah, my brain is a mess sometimes.
It seems like people - at least, family and friends - have liked everything I've ever done, whether it's writing or drawing, whether it's something I'm really proud of or something I threw together halfheartedly just to test them. Not exactly proud to admit it, and I know there's a chance my family might read this, but when I was younger, I would occasionally show off purposely subpar work just to see what thy would say. They always loved it, and I'm sure they weren't lying, that they loved me and that love oozed over to my work, but it has made me really reluctant to do anything public with my work. For a long time, I was seriously planning to write under a pseudonym and not tell anyone if I got published.
Going through a major depression and coming out the other side more or less unscathed has made me see things a different way, and I like submitting my stories to strangers on the Internet. They don't know me, they have no reason to lie and tell me I'm good. And if they do say I'm good, I know it means something.
I've shared a few stories with my grandmother and therapist (Me? In therapy? Shocker!), but they're the kind of people who will always say nice things but not gush about every little word I write and what amazing stories come out of my brain and how am I not as famous as JK Rowling! They're just like, "This is good. I liked the ending."
I'm still reluctant to show my work to the people who matter in my life, because every compliment still hurts somehow, and I have to remind myself every now and then that editors and publishers aren't just reading my work out of pity or to be nice. But that's just me being the neurotic product of too much anxiety, a few people with an "this child is a special snowflake who must never ever experience negative emotions" mindset, and just a pinch of emotional abuse. :D