I’m a writer. More than that, I’m an author, meaning I’m putting my writing out there for people to view.
What’s so crazy about that, you might ask. Oh let us count the ways:
- Gone are the days of the reclusive writer. If you don’t promote your work in some form or fashion, it won’t sell. I began life as an introvert. I have learned to step out of that shell. The more I did, the easier it became, but it will never quite erase that momentary dread when I “put myself out there”.
- The internet is a rude and judgmental monster. Have I ever mentioned that nothing puts my back up quicker than someone pointing the finger and telling another person how lacking they are? If not, now you know. As an author, I’m voluntarily handing that monster my words and thoughts. It’s sort of like stepping in a fire ant hill. Sometimes you might jump away quick enough, but more often than not you will get bitten and damn does it hurt.
- The “public” is extremely opinionated. Voting season is a good example of this. Everyone thinks their opinions is right (see #2). There are some writers who choose to write stories that won’t trigger the parting of the Red Sea of opinion. I write stories. Some of mine are fairly innocuous and some I anticipate might make waves. I’m a crappy swimmer. Parting the sea seemed like a good idea at the time…
- We court rejection. Getting a story published is like going on blind dates. More often than not you have to deal with a fair amount of rejection before finding a suitable partner. Sometimes it’s awkward, sometimes down right painful, but we keep doing it.
- The voices in our head aren’t the ones that are the problem. Telling someone you want to be an author is more likely to earn you a patronizing smile than encouragement. The more time that passes in between that first declaration and any amount of “success” the more likely those voices will push you to do other things, or suggest that you aren’t good enough. Silence can be just as devastating. Even when there are voices supporting you, all it takes is one loud voice to make you doubt. (See #s 2-4)
For all the other authors out there, you aren’t alone. Let your voice sing loud and true. Relish in this insanity called creativity, because it’s way more fun than so-called sanity.
***This was written especially for a fellow author, my best friend, Anne.***