The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. Members of the group, like me, post on the first Wednesday of every month with the purpose being to share and encourage. In Alex’s words, Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
I’m not going to mince words today. A great deal of the insecurity I used to feel, and imagine a great many of you as well, originated with the very real fear that someday I’d be exposed. That Toto would yank back the curtain and reveal the ordinary door to door salesman whose fancy tricks and quick tongue had lifted him up in the eyes of others. I would wake up to discover that the worth I had allowed myself to attach to my writing, my stories, my passion…was ill-placed, or at a minimum, overvalued.
Could I be a poser? That’s the question that fueled my doubt, the insecurity. Was I someone who leeched off of other writer’s popularity? I had written short-stories, books, and this blog, but did any of it mean I was writer? Was I like the teenager who wears heavy metal T-shirts and other cool clothes just to fit in, or even worse, a Kardashian, hanging with the cool people but having no actual talent.
STOP! Before you head down to the comment box to leave that note of encouragement, that’s not what this post is about. I’m not trolling for compliments or pat on the backs. My intent is to point out where a lot of our insecurity comes from, and tell you it’s not true!
Poser’s intentionally deceive people into believing something they’re really not. That’s not me, or you, because we know we are writers! But how do we know it, when we are told our self-evaluations can’t be trusted? Because we’ve listened to others confirm what we hoped was true. People we trust, people with experience, people who are perfect strangers, they’ve all said it. I’ve said it to many of you. I believe that none of you would be here right now, blogging, if somebody around you hadn’t confirmed your suspicions already. The problem is that over time we allow ourselves to doubt, even block out, that input. We need fresh validation and when it doesn’t come right away the insecurity seeps back in. It is a disease with no cure, and all we can do is manage the symptoms. (How was that, Lydia?) In a way, that's what the Origins blogfest is trying to accomplish. Returning us to a day when our writing first started to draw attention and unsolicited praise made us start to wonder where it might lead. Remember, compliments don't come with a shelf-life.
How far up the publishing food-chain we’ll rise, or seek, is yet to be determined, but regardless we are writers, not posers. We are the real deal! TRUTH!