IWSG, You are You.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month which means it’s time for IWSG!

Are you a writer? Do you know someone who is? If so, it’s probably a good idea to check out IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group), a blog hop for aspiring writers to share doubts and fears and to encourage one another on the difficulties and struggles of the writing life. IWSG was started by our fearless captain, Alex Cavanaugh, and I’m truly glad he did, because now I look forward to the first Wednesday of every month. I look forward to sharing my own insights, to reading others and to be reminded of the vast writing community, struggling and aspiring just like me.

So, as my third post for IWSG, I’d like to share something with you:

*takes breath*

Sometimes I hate the way I write.

It’s true.

Sometimes, on the really bad days, I shake my head and accuse myself. Why do you think you’re able to do this? What gives you the idea you have anything to offer? Anything other people want to read?

I hate that I do this. I hate it. But I hate even more when I let that doubt and fear seep in, depleting me of all the hard-earned confidence I’ve built up, and I’m left feeling insecure and embarrassed. And it’s no one’s fault but my own. I did this. I made myself feel like this. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives because I know so much can go wrong. People could hate it. Nothing is guaranteed. Anyone can write—what makes me special?

I wish I could give advice on how to avoid these feelings. But sometimes they’re inevitable. Sometimes you read something so beautiful, something you love so much that you find yourself comparing it to your own words. Don’t. It’s easier said than done, right? Any time I see or hear or read or appreciate something that is truly spectacular, I find myself wondering about my own artistic contribution. Am I the real deal or just an amateur? Should I just give up now? Save myself the time and embarrassment and work in a cubicle for the rest of my life? It’s definitely the safer route; it’s quiet. I won’t risk anything… but then, I won’t gain anything either.

Doubt and fear are poison. Never let them rule you. Never, never, never.  Everyone is different; everyone has their own style. If we were all the same, there would be no variety in this world and it would make for a very dull, very boring place to exist.  So please, don’t ever compare yourself to others. Don’t wish you sounded like them and berate yourself for not. You are not them. You are you. And you possess your own talent, your own special spark. And that’s what we want to hear. You. So don’t be afraid. Be the best that you can be. Love yourself and love the way you write. And if you do that, we will too.

Happy IWSG!

Keep writing 🙂

22 thoughts on “IWSG, You are You.

  1. ameliabishop says:

    Good advice! Especially: “Love yourself and love the way you write. And if you do that, we will too.”
    Now if only I can manage to remember it when I’m feeling that doubt and fear…

  2. cheriereich says:

    We do all have our own style, our own way to tell a story, and that’s a good thing. It’s easy to give into the doubts, although we shouldn’t. Yet I do think doubts can make us better too. They can help us grow, if we let them.

  3. Michael Ignacio says:

    I feel insecure about my ability some times, and I haven’t even found a break yet. I keep wondering what I’m doing too, trying to imagine if I’m really good enough to be expressing myself like so many other writers. To me, writers have the power of imagination and the ability to inspire others. I keep asking myself if I truly think I have the right and ability to inspire others.
    You’re right. I am good enough, and I have my own perspective and story to tell. I am worthy enough to inspire, or at the very least try and inspire. Thank you for your heartfelt words.

  4. Murees Dupé says:

    This is a wonderful post. I love that you said that we each have our own spark. Because it is so true. It is so hard to believe in ourselves. Many times i have to fight the doubt monster, but I am so stubborn,i always return to my writing. Thank you for this great post and for visiting my blog.

  5. Candilynn Fite-Writer says:

    Excellent advice! And you’re so right. fear and doubt are poison. Death to any aspiring writer, for sure. Nice to meet you! Sorry had to leave a comment through FB. For some reason, it wasn’t letting me leave a comment from my blogger account.

  6. VR Barkowski says:

    What an inspiring post! There is much in publishing we can’t control, but we can control our writing and whether or not we believe in our work. We each have a story that only we can tell. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time and energy. Well said, Caitlin.

    VR Barkowski

  7. Nicki Elson says:

    That’s righhthat we all have our own style – and yes, it would be horribly boring if we all had the same one. Also, those beautiful things you read — most likely the people who wrote them did so after much, much, much honing of their craft. So even if you don’t feel like you’re there now, it doesn’t mean you won’t get there (and when I say “you” I also mean “I”)

  8. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    Great advice! You’re right, we all seem to feel this way from time to time. This is what I love about IWSG! It’s so nice to know we’re not alone. 🙂

  9. jenlanebooks says:

    “Any time I see or hear or read or appreciate something that is truly spectacular, I find myself wondering about my own artistic contribution.”

    *nods* I feel the same way. I love reading an enthralling novel AND doing so brings on the doubts. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  10. Rena (@Renathewriter) says:

    Good advice. I’ve been working on following the idea that you should never let your inner voice get away with saying anything you wouldn’t let your two best friends say to each other.

    And learning to accept your writing and love it for what it is and not what you wish it were is a big step.

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