Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sucking and the Bumpy Road to Self-Actualization

At age 15 when I came up with the idea to write The Fire Outcast and wrote for hours that same night so as not to let the idea escape me, I thought I was an absolutely amazing writer. Nothing and no one could tell me differently. I'd hardly had creative writing experience, and my writing style completely mimicked the few YA novels I'd read. I sucked something fierce, but my ego was so large that I just kept writing at the time. I envisioned finishing The Fire Outcast (what I nicknamed in my head "TFO") by the time I was 18, and doing interviews and hanging out with my favorite YA novels for the rest of my life. The notion of "hard work" didn't compute in my teenage mind. I figured I was ready to publish my work NOW and the rest of my life would be a cake walk.

Now that I know what truly sucking at writing means, I've sort of been spooked into thinking writing's no good for me...or rather I'm no good for writing. Which is total Bolshevik. If once it honestly made me look forward to the rest of my life - made the rest of my life fit together so seamlessly - why have I not been following the same zeal with which I wrote as a teen and worked hard toward the perfect life I envisioned? I can still see fiction writing as the ideal way to spend my life, but I'm paralyzed by the horrible feeling that the only thing that kept me going as teen was the false confidence I had toward my writing ability, since I'd had so little exposure to good and diverse types of writing.

I have to set aside my feelings of doubt in my ability to write if I'm ever going to feel content again. This is the one internal area at which I know I can excel. There is a peace I find in myself only when I sit down and put together words in sentences that flow. If that does not constitute a niche, then I don't know what does.

I don't know how else to express myself in this strange world.