Insecure Writer's Support Group (Session # 2)
It's That Time Of The Month Again
In the unlikely event you have not heard of or already joined The Insecure Writer's Support Group, it is a place for writers to share and encourage. The founder and blogfest host, Alex J. Cavanaugh has given us a forum where we can express our doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. A Brilliant idea if you ask me or any of the hundreds of other writers who are participating.
This is my first post and I admit that the thought of sharing my insecurities scares the hell out of me. At first I did not think I would be able to do it, but as I thought about this post throughout the day I actually found myself looking forward to it and my internal list of insecurities grew and grew and grew...
I fear failure. I am afraid that I became serious about being a writer much too late in life. Up until a few years ago I referred to my writing as simply a hobby. Why? Because I was afraid of the reaction I would get.
I fear that the two things that I know I am good at, where I have already achieved success, will suffer as a result of neglect. I am afraid that I want too much and that I am spreading myself far too thin.
Why, when I already have a successful career as a lawyer and a wonderful family with children who love, adore and need me, would I take on something as challenging as writing a novel and having it published? My heart can tell you why. Because I have thought of it and aspired to it most of my life. My brain disagrees with my heart.
My brain and every logical part of my being is competing with my soul. I am a writer. I am a storyteller. It is as much a part of me as my gender. Why then, if I feel so passionately about writing and becoming a published author, do I often feel so selfish?
I would be incomplete if I had to quit writing, but sometimes I cannot quash the anxious feeling that gnaws a hole in my stomach. I know the cause of my anxiety. It is the mother in me that is telling me that my children who will not be children much longer did not ask to be born. I chose to have them so shouldn't I also choose to spend whatever minuscule amount of free time I have creating memories with them. Memories that can become stories passed down for generations
So my selfish side solves this dilemma. I will spend their waking moments with them and work on my book when they are sleeping. Problem solved? Sure, if you are like me and you are determined to justify your need to write.
But wait, what about sleep? I will manage on a few less hours a night. I will wake up an hour earlier I will write while sitting in carpool line; waiting in the orthodontist office; sitting in the bleachers while my son plays soccer and my girls cheer. Am I a genius or what?
It is now a win-win for all of us. But, what about work? Can I possibly be an effective (much less great) attorney when I seldom sleep, my mind eventually, always wonders back to my characters and last, but certainly not least, I am habitually cranky? Oh and habitually tardy.
Why am I so insecure about my ability and skill as a writer that I don't announce to others with pride that I am a writer. I have no problem proudly telling others that I am a lawyer or speaking of my day in court with confidence.
Is it because I do not really think I am good enough? I have never before doubted my talent. Or is it because I am ashamed? People don't have to ask me if I have tried any high profile cases that they may have heard of, because (locally at least) they have heard of me or read of me or have seen me in the news
When I tell others I am a writer, I get something like this.
" Oh, really. What have you written? Where can I purchase your book? Oh you aren't published? I see, but you must have articles or short stories published somewhere. No. Oh okay...." You get the idea.
Or this is one of my favorite lines. It usually comes from someone I haven't seen in a while.
" So you're still trying to be a writer." or " No way, I thought that phase was over."
Yes I am insecure. I want to continue writing because I know I have what it takes to make it, but at what cost? My family? My career? The respect of those who count on me daily to be alert and not a cranky overtired bitch.
Wow, it felt good to vent. Maybe this group therapy thing ain't such a bad idea.
Have you joined group therapy?