I wonder how many writers are really down on their own writing and themselves. Probably more than I realize. I know that I am very guilty of that. Mur Lafferty talks about our ‘fragile writer egos’ on occasion, and it always speaks to me. For years, I have been my own worst critic, and it continues today. That nagging little voice inside my head telling me that something just isn’t good enough is quieter than it used to be, but it’s still there.
I mention all of this because I was wallowing last week. Yes, I think wallowing is a good word for it. My brain took me to that dark place inside and told me that I suck, that nothing I write is ever going to be published, so on and etc. Hate when that happens. This was how I was feeling going into writers group on Saturday.
A couple of things happened to pick me back up. First, writers group – this group of people who do not blow smoke up your butt, loved what I’d submitted. I put 2 pieces in last month, another excerpt from my novel, Samantha Kane: Into the Fire and a short story called Charisma. The latter is for an anthology that the group is putting together, one that I wasn’t originally going to submit to.
I have struggled with short stories, which I have detailed here on the blog quite a bit – so I won’t repeat myself. But that struggle leads to self doubt. Is this story good enough? Did I put in enough detail? Did I put in too much detail? Was I able to create the character and setting well enough? So on and so forth. In this case, for the most part, I did all right. There were only a few areas where people wanted to see just a little more detail, and the kind words for the story as a whole was quite overwhelming and did a lot to squash that nagging little voice.
Second – I read this on the back of one of the copies someone had read: Love all your submissions. Maybe some day I’ll be half as good as you.
Wow. That made me feel so humbled.
That little bit of validation really helped spur me through the rest of the weekend. I polished up that short story, prepping it to submit and I also polished up another one for a different anthology.
I sent that second one off to the editor of said anthology last night.