At the Tip of My Tongue

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/Comfreak-51581/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=794978">Jonny Lindner</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=794978">Pixabay</a>

As writers, we all understand the value of reading. It turns the wheels of our imagination and motivates the artist in us who has been trapped in a cubicle for eight hours to move into open air. Reading is the other joy of writing, the first one. I’ll be honest though, when it comes to putting my words on paper after reading a good book, I just can’t seem to do it. It’s like walking into a Baskin Robbins already knowing what flavor you want and when you get there, you can no longer decide with all the other temptations. When I close the book, I know what I wanted to write. When I open my own, it’s stuck somewhere between brain and my fingers.

I don’t know if this common with new writers or if this is something I will forever be fighting. Eventually, the words get where they should be. In the bad first draft, then the revision, the polishing, the editing and finally, something I have yet to experience, the perfection. I once read that someone else’s journey isn’t yours. I’ve read about novelists who do it perfectly the first time, not many, but they’re out there. Some who do lousy first drafts and then change it all during the second draft even to point of setting and gender being different. Sometimes in an effort just to keep the flow, I’ll write lousy words for good ideas and come back later.

I understand that we’re all unique, not just in our style, but in how we work too. Knowing that takes the pressure off of being perfect. Freedom to suck as a writer brings back the fun that made me want to do this in the first place. That, a good book and a strong cup of coffee, gives me the inspiration I need to keep writing.

Beat That Self-Esteem Into Submission

 

27 March 27, 2019

In college, bonding moments as new writers always include the awkwardness of our prose, the lack of detail in our settings, the shallowness of our characters. In my courses so far, I’ve found I’m not alone in learning to build my character into a likeable person that someone else wants to read about, but I’m encouraged when I read someone else’s work and find they’re struggling equally with that same thing. But outside of the classroom, it’s different. Not because there aren’t new writers that are struggling with the same thing I am but because I’m not looking for them. I love to read the short conversations on Twitter from those that I follow and those who have been kind enough to follow me. But I’m a bit terrified that if I move beyond those short conversations, I’ll find I have no talent as a writer and whoever I read will have the same years I have, the same experience I have but they don’t suck, whereas I do.

I think as a writer, the one thing easier than all is to allow your lack of confidence to throw that brick wall in the way and make it look intimidating. How did that damn thing get there anyway? I have to remember, it’s an illusion, one that has no substance. I have to walk through that mirage of self-doubt and not look back. No one starts out a genius, even prodigies have to learn. I may be a late bloomer and maybe even a slow learner, but I made it to college, I know what to do at work and somehow I managed to become a grandmother. I’m not perfect, granted, but I have one thing under my belt I can take pride it. I’m no quitter. And I will get there.