I do that a lot these days. Banging my head on a desk. Gently though, no sense in giving myself brain damage.
Writing does that to me.
And insecurity, I am very good with the insecurity part.
“Don’t compare yourself to others.” Great advice, but it is difficult to follow up on. I do compare myself to others, all the time. And somehow, this is never in my favour.
Sometimes I compare my writing skills to people who are just awe inspiring. There are people out there that have such a beautiful way with words, that know how to play with the English language and produce the most amazing visual images.
I am not one of those people. I try my best, but that is just not what my “voice” is about. I am a story teller. The story is my master, and though I try, language, grammar and punctuation will always be a struggle.
I wrestle with my sentences, with the words I write every day. (Never with pudding though)
And this can cause me to bang my head into my desk. I am always wondering: “Am I doing this the way I should?” and I feel like a fraud. That little voice in the back of my head tells me I shouldn’t write, if I haven’t mastered it perfectly. I don’t agree with that voice. I like to think I have something to say in my writing, I have stories to tell. But the voice is still there. I tell it to shut up and tell it that there are editors for people like me.
It tells me I am a dumb ass and that my editors will be shocked at the state of my work. We argue a lot, that little voice and I.
I keep going, and don’t let the little voice discourage me. This is what I want to do, and I am willing to work hard for it. I do work hard. Every day.
And I ask people to proof read my work, and I hire an editor to take out the worst bits, but it’s not easy. Every time I send in my work to someone I wait for them to send it back and tell me I should stop writing, that I am a fraud and that what I do is terrible.
So far that is not what people have said. I don’t know whether it is because those people are very kind, or because they really enjoyed reading my work.
I am sure some day I will get comments like that. It is all part of being “out there”. There will be people who hate my work, because there always are. And maybe I will get very lucky and there will be people who love my work too.
I dream about reaching people. About writing that perfect story/ novel/ novella that someone just couldn’t put down. That changed their life a little bit. That someone fell in love with. I really do dream about that. I want my world to affect someone, an preferably a lot of people. To hear the words: “this is my favourite book”.
That keeps me going. Especially during the rough times, during the times where I am having a hard time with my work. Where I am trying to edit something and wonder if I am not just making things worse. Those times where I just don’t seem to be learning how to do it right.
It keeps me sane during the times where I bang my head against my desk.