Writers write. We pour our hearts and souls into what we do. It’s personal, deeply so. Yet still we put it out there for all to see, for all to criticize. Upon occasion, we get praise. It’s difficult to be so vulnerable, but our goal is for what we write to be read. These two aspects walk hand-in-hand.
When I talk about accolades, it’s not for the sake of ego. Well, okay, maybe a tiny bit. But for the most part, to be published required egos be left at the door. We must be able to take direction when it comes to editing. Some changes are easier than others, but it’s a part of being published. I determined early on to not be a writer who squabbled over each and every word.
With that being said, I confess spending a lot of years struggling, and feeling quite inadequate in my writing ability. During many of the early years I worked with an agent, a strong-minded woman who was direct and very outspoken with her opinions. Some authors feared working with her for that very reason. But I felt she made me work hard in an effort to learn and develop the proper skills for writing well. After all, we must all pay our dues. Right?
Still, for many years I heard everything I did was wrong and little of what I did was right. My self-confidence remained shaky at every turn; every book was a struggle. I had the desire to learn but, the fact is, I learn in my own way. I learn by doing. Not from attending workshops or listening to someone tell me how. I have to do it, sometimes over and over until it clicks in my mind.
I don’t know when I turned the corner, but sometime during the years I wasn’t “officially” writing books, it all became easier. So when Brit and I started working together again, I found myself editing older works and seeing clearly the problems in the writing. I now write blog content on a regular basis, both for Brit Darby and for my work. The feedback I have received has been profound. For the first time in a long career (career may not even be the right word), people are reading and loving what I write. The open praise, the accolades, has rebuilt my confidence. The more confident I am, the more it shows in my work. Funny that.
I have dreams when it comes to my writing, but the simple truth is I may never make a lot of money doing what I love. For now, it feels really good to know someone has enjoyed what I have written. It will never be letter-perfect in content. I will never be a brilliant writer. But that’s okay. I love writing and write with the hope that someone may love it in turn.