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Self Doubts or is it more?

I feel like I keep going round and round on this merry-go-round. Or is it a roller coaster? Like so many other things in my life, I feel like I let myself down. I doubt myself like I do in nearly every aspect of my life. Writing is simply the most recent. The worst, I think is how good of a mother I am. But that's a whole separate topic.

Maybe its the weather or hormones or maybe, its my subconscious telling me the truth. That I'm really not a writer. I'm not, not really. I know that. I've had no formal training outside of high school English. Hell, before eight months ago, I barely read books! I hated reading, a good book for me was like the Holy Grail. Rare and impossible to find. But I found it, by some miracle, I found a book that inspired me. And then another and another. So much so, that it sparked something inside me to step out of my well constructed box and share more of my writing with others. I know, I know, I wrote in the past. Short stories, blurbs about a photo or a small something that inspired me. I even had a blog at one point. But nothing that I thought would ever amount to anything and so far, it really hasn't. Aside from finding this forum and joining a writing group. Which I very much enjoy!

Regardless of why I think its happening, I can't hep but doubt myself. I've written 2 rough manuscripts, both needing some generous amount of revisions and I'm proud to say that I've at least gotten to that point, but the doubts are screaming loud right now. Are they really any good? Are they really worth all the time I've put into them and need to continue putting into them? Right now, I'd say no. I want to put them away and walk away from writing. But I know, that tomorrow might bring me inspiration so I don't. I hold myself back from pressing that little button in the top right corner of my keyboard that would make it all disappear.

I don't really know why I'm writing this. It wasn't meant to be a 'poor me' kind of post. More just how I'm feeling today. I know its common to feel this way but I am having trouble finding the way through this fog. Trying to tell myself to keep going when I doubt the very idea that I'm even half-way decent at this is hardest part. I feel like I can't even offer decent criticism to others due to lack of experience/knowledge. Therefore, how can I ask others to help me? What do I have to offer other than letting them know I enjoyed their piece? I'm rambling now. Sorry.

The truth is, my doubts are real and though I know I have some basic knowledge of how to write, I fear that what I lack in training overshadows any potential I've shown so far. I've grown in the months since I started this journey to publish a book, but my goals still seem too far out of reach. I don't want to give up on this. I feel like I could someday succeed at it, but will anyone even want to read it once I do? That is the question I keep asking myself. The real reason I have my doubts. Its not whether or not I can do this. I can write. But is the story, the idea, the way I present it worth the reader's time? In the deepest darkest corners of my heart I fear I already know the answer, so the question is, do I give up now or spend more wasted time on a dream that won't pan out?

Comments

What makes you a writer is merely that someone reads your words. There are lots of writers here on the site with degrees and lots of technical skills that can't tell a story to save their soul. Write a story for your kids, write one for your husband or parents. Stop writing with the idea that some how your going to wow the general public. The same dynamics used to tell a story about, or for someone you love includes all the stuff that makes any story good. You already know the beginning, the middle and the end, you know the characters and how they look and about what happened and how both you and they felt. Share that moment with someone who would be fascinated to read about themselves, and in their eyes without a shadow of a doubt you will be the best writer in the world to them right then and there. Win over one reader at a time, the skills and the other stuff all comes with tons and tons of practice. Get one loyal fan by writing for just one fan, and your doubts will slip away.
 
Never mind what you are. I don't think of myself as a writer any more than I think of myself as a plumber every time I unblock the toilet; I can unblock it and it is then usable, that's all. I was called "an embarrassment" by my English Lit department at college, and to be fair, I was. I was useless. But when the spark to write hit me in such a way that I could crystallise it into something, I went with it. It is not about what I call myself. All that matters is what my stories do for readers (and to me). Yes, that means I have to write them, but that's really it. I'm not looking for identity in this game, which is a blessed relief. Maybe think of it that way; less about you, more about making the stories in your mind happen.
 
You can always learn to write, even if you lack classic talent. It's a craft that you just keep working to improve yourself. BTW, I am not a writer.
 

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JaneC
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