September 4, 2013
let me introduce to you my new kitten. we named him Pepper, not just because he's black, but because he's, well, peppery. as in sometimes sweet, sometimes feisty. as in confident and bold.
from the moment we brought him home, at the age of 6 weeks, he hasn't been afraid of anything. or to be more accurate, if he is afraid of something, it's only for a day at the most, and a few minutes at the least. if he suddenly runs away because something startles him, he comes right back.
i think that's because he's secure.
the woman who gave him to us had already taught him how to be around people and dogs. she'd handled Pepper from the time he was born. she brought Pepper's litter outside when they were strong enough and let them explore. when we went to pick kittens, none of them were shy or afraid.
if only i were as confident and secure as my kitten, even if just in my writing.
since confession is good for the soul, and maybe you can relate to one or two of these, i'll share some of my on-going writing insecurities, as related to the novel that just keeps going and going without ending.
-- 4 years. that's how long Black Heart has been in progress. of course there were a few moves in there, a lost dog, some health issues. but really, how long are the readers of the first one going to wait before they start protesting? even i'm starting to wonder if i'll ever finish.
-- after four years, and several drafts, and a few things i've written in between, my writing has changed. a lot. i mean, significantly. i don't sound like the same person anymore. that's good from a writing point of view, but how will my readers react? they liked the first one the way it was, over-used metaphors and all. what will they think when they read this one?
-- i just read a novel by one of my favorite authors. she puts in just enough description, is sparse with the metaphors, writes compelling characters, and makes me not want to put the book down. or ever write again. come to think of it, every time i read a book by a favorite author, i feel the same way. who am i to think i could ever write like that? (and then i tell myself - i'm not supposed to write like this author. i write like me. sometimes saying that out loud actually helps.)
-- how can i keep writing when i'm tired of my characters? when they feel flat? when i'm not inspired? when these fears invade my head?
of course, i might persuade Pepper to finish for me. when he walks across the keyboard, she could make up some great fantasy names: hdsfa flhlhkf tshdkl mvcnm vasbd ukoupio
or i could ignore my insecurities and just write.
to read about other writers' insecurities, visit the Insecure Writers' Support Group list.
and then go write. i'm going to go play with my kitten.
Labels: insecure writers' support group