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Insecure Writer’s Support Group
June 7 Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
In short, no.
But, in keeping with my propensity for prattling on, I’m going to expand and say: sometimes… kind of.
Writing is like any other form of creativeness—whether you spend an hour on your hair each day or a month decorating your house in Las Vegas style lights ready for Christmas—we create because it brings us joy.
But we’re social creatures. We like to share.
So, there comes a time when most of us take the leap, strip naked and show off our stuff (metaphorically speaking, of course); however, what we hope to achieve when bearing our most intimate creations, doesn’t always transpire.
And that’s where problems can start to make you wobble.
Primarily, I write because I get a kick out of putting words on paper. I love making things up—when life gets a little tough or when the world’s news sounds like some late-night horror listing, writing makes it all go away. I don’t just bury my head in a rusty bucket of earwig-filled sand, I get to transport myself onto a sun-kissed beach where anything I want to happen happens—I’ve never actually written about a beach, and my stories tend to involve death, but, you get the idea.
It’s all about escapism. And your imagination’s the limit.
Because I love what I do, I want to share it. It’s a little like sharing photos of your kids on social media— you’re proud of those little critters, and you know someone else will see their cute hilarity too, right?
However, creating and sharing don’t always walk serenely hand in hand—sometimes, they end up running, kicking and screaming, in opposite directions. Sometimes your kids, no matter how cute they are, just don’t appeal to others.
If someone doesn’t like what you’ve made/written/drawn/built, then it sucks. There’s no poetic way to put it that doesn’t come off as a little self-absorbed. It. Just. Blows.
Let’s get the awkwardness out of the way, you can call me Narcissistic-Nelly if you like, but I cannot think of anything more gratifying than having someone get that same buzz I feel when I read a good book.
And if they don’t like what I’ve written?
I begin to waiver. I gear myself up to dive into the abyss of self-pity whilst wailing ‘what’s the point in it all?’
Luckily, I have a husband who finds these moments funny; he also happens to have no problem in telling me I’m acting like a dick (he usually does an impression of Stewie from Family Guy and asks how my book is going to hammer the message home). And his humour is a welcome slap to the senses.
There will always be a tonne of people better than me. There will always be people who think my stuff is smellier than a week-old cat turd (everyone knows that cat poop stinks, right?). But if other people’s opinions make me want to quit, then my perspective is seriously skewed and off-track; so, I have a firm word with myself, watch a bit of Family Guy, and trace my steps back to my original motivation for writing: the love of it.
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