How Confident Are You (As A Writer)?

Pixabay

*Note: I’m participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like tp participate. 

 

So, really, how confident are you in yourself as a writer and in your writing abilities?

Personally, I can say without hesitation that I have very little confidence in myself as a writer, and many times this lack of confidence stops me from writing.

How sad is that?

What’s holding me back? What am I really afraid of?

Fear of failure? Of what others think about my stories and poems? Fear of success?

What???

The only answers that keep coming back to me are:

I need to write.  I need to tell my story-in my own way.  The price is too high NOT to write.

Again, what??? These tell me nothing about what I’m afraid of.

Then, another answer rings through my head:

My writing has to be perfect. If I can’t get it just right with the first try, why bother? I’ll never be good enough anyway.

Oh…yeah…this one cuts deep.  I keep going back to trying to be good at that one thing. It’s the search that never ends. It all goes back to my childhood when my (hearing) disability made me feel inferior to other normal kids (because they’d thought me strange because I spoke funny, or heard things incorrectly and they’d laugh at me, or called me “booby” when I acted clueless to what was going on around me, etc.). Or when I learned I was slowly losing my sight at the age of 21 just when I was beginning to get a feel of what I wanted for in a career, and this diagnosis shook my confidence, no, it destroyed it, and I gave up any and all aspirations.

On the other side, people who’ve known me for most if not all of my life would tell me how feisty I was when I was younger, how much harder I worked at something when the others believed I’d never be able to accomplish, and I’d do just that, how the guy who used to call me names found out one day he’d pushed me too far when I shove him against a wall with a hockey stick (he never bothered me again after that), and on and on.  My own mother said I was the strongest person she’d ever known, and how I was an inspiration to her.

Now, I look at the mirror and I can’t see that girl anymore.

Where did she go?

But, the real question is:

Will she ever return? Is it possible to become that girl again? 

I can’t help but  to feel so lost. How did I end up being this lost? But, is that necessarily a bad thing? A quote I read some time ago came back:

Sometimes the only way to ever find yourself is to get completely lost.” – Kellie Elmore

I feel there is truth to this quote. I also believe that the path to re-discovering myself will be through writing; and in writing, I believe I will regain my confidence.

 

 

Advertisements

Ever Had Days When…. #Write28Days #WritingCommunity

 

…you feel like a total reject?

This usually happens when we start comparing ourselves to other writers and authors.

And when we do this, ever notice how the doubts creep in, and suddenly all our writing just stop?

So my question to you is this: What do you do to combat this?

The Night Is My Friend; The Darkness Is Not

 

*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like tp participate. 

 

While growing up, nighttime used to be my favorite time.

I remember playing tag-in-the-dark with friends during the Wednesday’s youth group. Or, sledding down the hills behind our house- never mind the fence of stones waiting near the bottom.  I remember camping in the pop-up out in our backyard-the full moon made it clear as the day.

There were nights when I used to sneak out of the house and wandered down the road, to the mighty rapids, and sat on the rocks, under the rays of the moon. The sound of the water roaring against the bedrock always reminded me that nature can be a great healer.

My imagination would come alive as soon as the sun set, and the stars revealed themselves through their shimmering glory.

But, at some point in my latter teenage years, a veil came over and hid all the beauty of the night. Without any warning, darkness crept in and I’d soon learned its name which forever changed my life.

It’s been a few decades now, and I still enjoy the night, but it’s no longer the same; not since the darkness invaded, and had grown considerably since.

I may be losing my sight, but I will always have the memories of my time spent in the night.  All I need to do is close my eyes, and I’m back in the outdoors gazing up at those countless beautiful stars.

#Write28Days: Strive

 

 

For the entire month of February, I will be participating in a daily blogging challenge called #Write28Days (click on it for more information).

 

Strive

 

According to Dictionary.com, strive is a verb (action) meaning “to exert oneself vigorously; try hard: to make strenuous efforts toward any goal: or, to struggle vigorously.”

I believe each one of us have spent at least some part of our lives striving for something. It may be a singular thing, or it may vary over the course of our lives.

For me, it was trying to find the one thing I could be really good at.

Diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss at the age of 5, I battled with feeling inferior to other “normal” kids. When ,at the age of 8, I discovered I could run faster than most kids (even those who were several years older), I latched on to it, and strove to become better at it.  Running became an integral part of my life for over seventeen years. I competed in college as well as after, and have placed (in the top 3) in a number of meets/races.

Then came the next challenge.

While still in college, I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (a disease where I was slowly going blind). Devastated, I gave up on any dream aspirations I had. I did finish college, but the degree was just a piece of paper. Nothing more. A few years after my diagnosis, I married only to be widowed less than two years later.  Broken. Severely depressed, I withdrew from the world and into one filled with darkness and loneliness (of my own choosing).   Through two special people, I learned to embrace another gift I’d discovered as a young girl but never truly took seriously, writing.

In the beginning, my writing sucked. I mean that sincerely. But, over time, through hard work, it did improve.

Poetry. Short and long fiction. I strove to find that niche I was destined for.

I’m still striving, still learning, still writing.

Since then I have remarried, and gave birth to a son who is nearly sixteen now. I have faced many other challenges as well but the same thing remained for me.

I’m still striving to be good at that one thing, and this keeps me going no matter what life throws at me.

#Writerslife: Honor Your Reality

 

*If you’re interested in joining the DIY MFA Book Club to take part in the writing prompts, click here

 

I’m in the “honor your reality” period at the moment with my husband’s on government furlough.   Since I am a stay-at-home mom with a disability, I usually spend my mornings writing/blogging/reading; however, with hubby home since December 22nd 2018, my writing schedule has been erratic at best.  It’s been very difficult to set up any kind of routine or get into the “zone” with him underfoot (it’s like having another child in the house as he craves my constant attention) or he needs to be on the computer several hours each day monitoring the news for federal employees/juggling financial issues/etc. which take precedent over writing at any given time.

Now that we’re approaching 40 days into the government shutdown, stress is starting to mount in the household which adds additional distraction for me as I’m watching our small savings quickly dwindles.

*Sigh*

While I have been unable to continue working on the few manuscripts I began late last year, I’ve been utilizing the notebook and quick bursts of microfiction (posting them to my blog) to keep me from becoming completely frustrated with hubby and the current circumstances we’re in.

So, I’m taking a deep breath as I recognize the reality for what it is and accept it while knowing that this won’t last forever and that I will be back to my regular writing schedule (soon I hope!).

 

The Birth Of a Writer: My Origin Story

 

*If you’re interested in joining the DIY MFA Book Club to take part in the weekly writing prompts, click here

 

My journey to becoming a writer began when I was about eleven years old. I was a girl, a loner, struggling with being an outsider due to my hearing disability and difficulties with  communication (I spoke funny and didn’t always hear what people said even though I wore hearing aids).  As a result, I spent a lot of time in imaginary worlds and with my imaginary friends. At times, however, this proved dangerous.

An example: A year or so earlier, I was in my basement where I had set up a line of chairs. I was pretending to be Wonder Woman, and wanted to see how far I could jump (or how many chairs I could clear). My imaginary friends kept edging me on, “More! More! Make it longer!” Of course, I didn’t want to look like a poor sport, I added a kiddie rocking chair at the end, and proceeded to jump.

Well, I didn’t make it. In fact, that rocking chair was my undoing as I landed on top of it, straddling it.

I think you get the idea.

I ended up in the ER that evening, and for the next two or three weeks, using the bathroom and stairs were challenging (not to mention, painful!) at best.

Let’s move forward to when I was about eleven years old. My best friend, Melanie (a feisty red-head who didn’t mind my weird lisp and pronunciations) challenged me and a few other classmates to see who could write the “scariest” story. So, I sat down and wrote about a girl who accepted a dare to enter a haunted house where she’d discovered a decapitated head in the fridge. I no longer remember if that girl managed to get out of the house so I’ll just leave it to my imagination. Anyway, what I can clearly remember was how they all reacted when they read my story.  One was totally grossed out by the details, others either squealed or shuttered. I’d loved every reaction.

I then realized that with writing, I could “act” out my imagination without harming myself (or anyone else!). But most of all, after writing that story I felt like I had found something I could be good at. Writing was something I could excel in and not be looked down on as “odd” or as the girl “who spoke funny.”

Writing also gave me that guilty pleasure of making people squirm.

 

#IWSG: New Year’s Goals

 

This month’s question: “What are your writing goals for the new year?” 

 

My writing life is so out of sync at the moment as I’m searching for some way to get back into a routine of some sort. So far, nothing is working.

Hubby was furloughed when the federal government shutdown on December 21st (well, technically it’s only a partial shutdown, but still) which means he’s been home 24/7 since.  I have the only computer in the house, and of course, he’s been monopolizing all my free time on it to keep up with the news as well as other things.  I might be able to get on for maybe 30 minutes each day, not nearly enough time to do much of any real writing. The rest of my time has been spent juggling bills when we have no income coming in, and “spring” cleaning.  He thinks that my sitting at the desk for several hours each day is a sign of my being lazy.

Writing…lazy?   Really?

Yeah, I have a husband who really doesn’t get me as a writer, but I forgive him for this. Still, it doesn’t make it any easier.

Okay, my rant time is over.

I gave up on setting resolutions as I’ve never really been successful with them.  Instead, I prefer to set goals. For 2019 I do have a few goals I hope to attain:

  1. Take at least one writing workshop (poetry especially)
  2. Finish Draft One for novels: The Hidden Avalon, Terror From the Deep, and Hope Falls
  3. Write every day (min. word count: 250)

I believe these to be quite reasonable with ample room to add more goals if I wish.

 

What about you? What are your writing goals for this year?

#IWSG #Writing Life: Here We Are, December Already

kr

Our tree-mostly decorated by my son.

 

Question of the month is: what are your writing goals for December? 

 

November is over, and the tree is up! Now, it’s time to think about Christmas shopping. Yeah, I know, I’m late in starting, but that’s how I roll…every single year!

 

Well, NaNoWriMo has ended and I finished just shy of 14k. I am a bit disappointed that it wasn’t way higher, but progress is progress, right? I set another goal for the story I started with this and that is to reach 75k (or if the story feels complete before that) by Feb. 1st, 2019.  This I believe is a reasonable goal.

 

From there I plan to set it aside for a few weeks to work on other projects. I hope to go back to it around March/April and begin the editing/revision phase. After this I’d like to see about gathering a few Beta readers to help me make the story even better.  My goal is to have as polished a manuscript as possible by the end of 2019. Around this time, I may even attempt to take part in the Pitch Wars.

 

What about you?  What are your writing goals for December? I love to hear them!

 

***IWSG stands for Insecured Writer’s Support Group.  Want to know more? Click here.

The #Writing Life: Struggling To Stay Grounded

Pixabay

 

“Maybe, life is a kind of waking dream.
Maybe, it’s a double-dream with a false awakening.” -― David B. Lentz

 

For most of my life, I feel I’ve lived in a dream-like state; not truly experiencing things with all of my senses.  No, rather I’ve lived in imaginary worlds where I can be who or what I desire, or change circumstances more to my liking.

Or, needs.

These imaginary worlds have been my safe havens from the reality of life which had been fairly harsh and painful.  As a defensive mechanism to protect myself (emotional well-being), I would withdraw into them frequently.

Until one day, I had a scare.

I opened my eyes and couldn’t recognize which reality was truly my own.

For mere moments, I couldn’t recall my name or where I lived or remember that I was a wife and a mother.

When the correct reality finally set in, I had to sit down and calm my shaking legs.

I’ve never really known fear…not like this.

What drew me back to earth, my earth, was my family.

My husband. My son.

Being a writer, a creative, it is so easy to lose oneself in other realms of existence that you literally can forget to return to your own.

For the scientific and medical communities, these could resemble a number of mental and psychological disorders, and I can also see why some have even been committed to asylums.

I really don’t want to be one of them.

So, what keeps me grounded in this reality?

My family.

Thank god for them.

 

 

 

Author’s Note:  Life has taken me down a bumpy road lately and I’ve had to deal with some of it instead of being on this blog so forgive my absence.   The Friday Story Prompt Challenge’s schedule has changed because of this (again my apologies).  Look for one on Friday, October 5th though (this one will be different from the others).

#IWSG: Jumpstarting The Writing Process

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

 

 

This month’s question: How do you jump-start your writing after a hiatus?

 

I know. I’m a day late this month. I have a good reason.

Honest! 🙂

It’s a reason, but probably not a good excuse.

Oh, well.

Back in July I left North Dakota and flew down to North Carolina to spend time with my Mom.  About two weeks worth.

Two full weeks without any substantial writing.

I had bought a 5-subject notebook with every intention of filling it up with written words.

Instead, I wrote maybe three pages of short poetry.

Nothing substantial at all.

Yesterday I flew back home.

Today, as I stare at the computer monitor I find myself wondering…where do I start?

When I left two weeks ago, I suddenly dropped all the projects I was working on and took a vacation.  Now, I have no idea on how restart the writing process.

I have lists of what need to be done, but it’s like I’ve hit this wall that I can’t seem to break through to that creative well of inspiration and energy to get the imaginative juice flowing again.

Hmm…

What about you? How do you get back in to your writing groove after a long break?