It’s time to purge our hearts of all our worries and anxieties. Be sure to join Alex and hop around to other blogs.
So, I’ve pretty much stripped bare already, so it seems like there shouldn’t be anything left for me to worry about.
See, in my brain there is this little person. For the record, this little person isn’t small of stature, just small of everything else: honor, logic, wellbeing, pretty much everything. This little person sits around and dreams up more stuff for me to be worried about, and no matter how hard I try, I always manage to keep him in a job. *Shakes fist at little voice.*
It is ridiculous that I worry, but it is especially ridiculous that I worry that I might be a fraud. Yeah, I might be a complete faker who can barely keep my life together, how can I possibly be a writer? How can anything I say or write possible be of any use to anyone? I can’t get to the grocery store on a regular basis, how can my mere words be meaningful? I can’t manage to get my WIP off the ground, why should anyone care what I have to say?
And worse, right now, I don’t even have a functional manuscript. Want to feel like a real loser? Go check out a bunch of agent judged contests where the rules are “For a finished manuscript only” and not have a manuscript finished. It makes me feel like a fake, a fraud, a hanger on in an awesome community--undeserving--because I don’t have a manuscript. I haven't put the time into my writing. I've been doing all these other things, important sure, but still not writing. But I am a real writer! I know I’ve finished six novels and I have nothing to show for any of them, but really, really soon, I’ll have a seventh. And all those other novels were just crap anyway, this one is THE ONE, so hold on there contest, I’ll be a real writer with a real manuscript in just a few months.
Then the realization sinks in. No, I won’t have a real manuscript in just a couple months. I’ll have a first draft. I’m looking at half a year to a full year before I have a “finished” manuscript. That’s forever in writer years. I know what the problem is, it’s easy to spot if I could just step back and look.
That voice. That evil little voice in my head dreaming up things for me to worry about. Like will my book be relevant in a year? In three years? Even if it does get published (practically the lottery at this point), will anyone read it? Like it? Is all of this just a pipedream anyway? Have I spent months ruining my life in my—thus far failed!—attempt to become a ‘real writer’?
Somewhere that little voice is telling me that not having a “finished manuscript” makes me a second class citizen, and worse, I used to be a member of the elite, a querying goddess of awesome. And then it all went away. I decided to make a change, and I had to yank my manuscript from what can only be called a tepid reception.
I wrote another book, but that wasn’t the stuff either.
And now I have a monstrosity of a WIP. I love it. My alpha readers like it, but they don’t love it. Even my Mom doesn’t love it (though she is always truthful and wouldn’t just blow sunshine up my ego). I guess it means more to me than them. So here I am, all my hopes in this one MS, and I can already see that I probably love it too much to do the editing and revisions on it I’ll need to make it awesome. This is why I feel like a fraud. I’m such a fraud I can’t even see that my broken WIP is only ever going to be loved by me.
Stupid little voice, how do I get you to leave me alone?
I’m a real writer. The only person who can say if I’m a real writer is me, so go away stupid voice. You don’t know me. You don’t know the stuff I’m made of. All the other weaklings quit. All the fakes and the frauds have already quit, and I’m still here. I don’t need you, stupid little voice, now go away.