Will It Be Good Enough

Today is the first Wednesday of the month and time for the IWSG Monthly Blog Hop. Since I can’t seem to get the HTML code to work on my blog, I’ll post a link at the bottom that will take you to the page where the other bloggers’ links are posted. You might want to check out their blogs and the IWSG website. I’m very thankful to this supportive group of authors and writers. It’s amazing to me how some of my favorite authors were not only insecure about their writing but their emotions ran the whole gamut to even hating their writing.

I was going to write about my NaNoWriMo experience today but something happened on the way to my blog. I saw a post. It was one simple sentence by a writer that wanted to write a book about something very important to them.It ended with the writer expressing the fear that the book wouldn’t be good enough.  I instantly understood that fear.

I’m currently working on a novel with a very timely social theme. One that I feel so strongly about that it just crushes me. I see it. I feel it. I have to write this story. Then there is the anxiety, the fear that hasn’t stopped me but it hits me out of the blue or out of the darkness. Will it be good enough? Will my writing be good enough?

This story needs to be told. It needs to see the sanitizing light of day. But can I do it justice? This story deserves the best. That can’t possibly be me.

Sometimes we find the answers in the most unexpected places. By taking the time out of what I was going to do, to try to support another writer, I found the answer to my own question.

I told this person what I just expressed here about my own fears but I went on to say that I was going to write this book to the very best of my ability in my unique voice because I had to do it.

The rest of my response went like this:

That is all any of us can do. Do you feel strongly about your story? If you were to only write one book in your lifetime, would this be it? Are you willing to write, rewrite, rewrite and edit this book until it tells the story, the message, you want the world to hear?  Even the greatest writers had their doubts. You absolutely can do this if it’s what you truly want to do.

I don’t know what this other writer will do. That’s out of my hands but I know what I’m going to do. Perhaps someone else could get more attention or write it more eloquently but no one has my unique combination of passion and voice.

Sometimes we find our answers in the most surprising places.

Thanks for reading my post. If you liked it check out some of the blogs on the blog hop. The links are on this page:

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

If you really liked it feel free to share it or follow my blog or both

 

 

NaNoWriMo

Otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. I’m sure that most of you have heard of it but November, every year, hundreds of thousands of writers from around the world commit to writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Last I checked there were about 400,000 writers signed up this year.

Many have never written a novel and are using this as an incentive to finally achieve that goal. I applaud you for that. Even if you don’t hit the 50K word count mark, hopefully, you will see that you can achieve it and will be so addicted to writing by then you’ll keep going.

Many of the participants have done this before and know that the support and camaraderie will get you a long way toward achieving your goal. Many have done this and achieved 50K words all the time but being part of this group just inspires you. There are as many different reasons for signing up as there are writers who made the commitment.

I signed up to do this for the very first time. Then I got cold feet and was going to back out before I read a blog post by an author I know (by his writing and through FB) and after reflecting on the whole concept of 1,666.666 words per day (yes I did the math) I realized it was a great opportunity to just write without worrying about every single word choice, whether it would be good enough, and all the other neurotic thoughts that are a hindrance sometimes. I have also found a group of people that will band together and support each other through this process. I feel very lucky to have met these writers. They are a real gift.

On December 1st, I will either be jumping for joy or I will be locked in a padded room wearing a straitjacket and I will have a 50 thousand word document comprised of one sentence repeated over and over.  “All work and no play makes Liz a dull girl.” Luckily I don’t own an ax.

Good luck and happy writing to all the NaNoWriMo participants of 2017!

(If you don’t get that reference, it’s from “The Shining”) If you like this post, please share it or comment. If you hate this post, please comment. If you really hate this post make a voodoo doll of me and stick pins in its hand so I’ll never write again –ok please don’t do the last one.  If you’re a NaNo and need another writing buddy my username is LJLeighton.

 

 

 

 

Writing Through the Insecurities

In “Journal of a Novel,” John Steinbeck wrote, “I know it is the best book I have ever done. I don’t know whether it is good enough.” I’m no John Steinbeck and never hope to achieve the status he did as an author, but even he had insecurities about his writing.

Maybe my insecurities are justified. That’s one way to think and going down that particular rabbit hole is where I find myself too often. I constantly have to ferret out all the voices in my head that tell me that the last sentence, the last paragraph, or even everything I’ve ever written is just drivel. It somehow makes me feel better, and not so alone, knowing that even John Steinbeck struggled with such insecurities.

For the past few decades, most of my writing has been technical, nonfiction, or novels. I recently made the decision to pursue my passion for writing novels once again. I never tried to publish my last two novels and I’ve told myself for years that I was just happy with my accomplishment. The truth is that my insecurities held me back and have kept me from writing another novel until now.

Since I made that decision, I’ve set aside some of my reading time for articles and books about writing.  One of the suggestions I’ve read from numerous sources is that novelists should give flash fiction and short story writing a shot. Each writer gave lists of reasons for doing so, but the one that caught my eye was that it could stimulate creativity.

I was very insecure about this new fiction form. How could anyone pack a story of any interest into such a compact space? I gave it a whirl anyway with a lot of starts and stops. I didn’t count how many times I edited it.  Then I finally posted it on a website where I knew it would get serious reviews. I was terrified and expected to be shredded. I felt vulnerable and exposed.

I was torn between wanting to see my reviews and never wanting to even check them, but humans are inherently curious and curiosity won the battle. I had to see what kind of “train wreck” I had written. I was so shocked when I read my first reviews that I thought there must have been some mistake. There were genuine critiques of my story, but my aggregate rating was 4.5 out of 5 stars.

So, to all of the insecure writers out there, tell the negative voices in your head to shut up. Do it every time they try to sneak into your thoughts. I have to do it constantly. Remember that even John Steinbeck had insecurities and most importantly keep writing.

Maybe I’ll try poetry next…….Nope! Not a chance!