Writing and Insecurity

It’s actually interesting, because of all the topics I write about, it seems that anything relating to fear or insecurity gets the most comments. I haven’t written a lot of posts on the topic, mainly because I prefer to write about how awesome it is to be an aspiring author, but I think insecurity exists within all of us.

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an insecure person. I know my strengths and weaknesses and possess a healthy amount of self esteem and confidence. But every now and then doubt creeps in. Which I think is completely normal for a writer. You need a lot of resilience to deal with rejection, manuscript after manuscript.

What do you guys think of writing and insecurity? Below are some rare posts I’ve written on the subject. A little glimpse into my insecure side!

>> When what’s in your head is better than what’s on the page…

>> Getting Back into the Swing of Writing

>> What is the most difficult thing about writing?

>> Are you confident in your writing?

>> As a writer, what do you fear the most?

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
This entry was posted in Writing Discussion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Writing and Insecurity

  1. qwietpleez says:

    I always have this little gnawing feeling inside that My work is not good enough to be shared. Positive feedback, publishing, invitations to write . . . None of it ever silences that voice of self-doubt. Starting a blog was my way of fighting back, I am tired of listening to it tell me I’m not worthy to revel in the words I pen to the page.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. qwietpleez says:

    I always have this little gnawing feeling inside that My work is not good enough to be shared. Positive feedback, publishing, invitations to write . . . None of it ever silences that voice of self-doubt. Starting a blog was my way of fighting back, I am tired of listening to it tell me I’m not worthy to revel in the words I pen to the page.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. krystal jane says:

    It’s hard. I have these moments where I’m almost over-confident in my stories and my abilities. I know I’m a good writer. Sometimes I even think I’m really good. But most of the time I think even being really good isn’t good enough. I have to be great, and I’m not. It crosses my mind the most right after I’ve worked so hard to finish something. About two days later. And I think, “what makes me think I’m good enough to be on the same shelf as Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins?” Well, I’m not. I’m not good enough.

    Like

  4. krystal jane says:

    It’s hard. I have these moments where I’m almost over-confident in my stories and my abilities. I know I’m a good writer. Sometimes I even think I’m really good. But most of the time I think even being really good isn’t good enough. I have to be great, and I’m not. It crosses my mind the most right after I’ve worked so hard to finish something. About two days later. And I think, “what makes me think I’m good enough to be on the same shelf as Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins?” Well, I’m not. I’m not good enough.

    Like

  5. Adaer says:

    I have to confess, I’ve been waiting for a chance to link this ever since it popped up on my Twitter feed. http://www.gwendabond.com/bondgirl/2014/07/ten-reasons-to-keep-your-eyes-on-your-own-paper.html That blog has the best advice I’ve ever read in regards to insecurity about writing.

    Like

  6. Adaer says:

    I have to confess, I’ve been waiting for a chance to link this ever since it popped up on my Twitter feed. http://www.gwendabond.com/bondgirl/2014/07/ten-reasons-to-keep-your-eyes-on-your-own-paper.html That blog has the best advice I’ve ever read in regards to insecurity about writing.

    Like

  7. Erik Conover says:

    Move forward openly with curiosity and amusement with your passions rather than demands and hopes. Don’t expect it to go as planned but know that the unplanned may lead to the best later

    Erik

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Erik Conover says:

    Move forward openly with curiosity and amusement with your passions rather than demands and hopes. Don’t expect it to go as planned but know that the unplanned may lead to the best later

    Erik

    Liked by 1 person

  9. C.J. Peter says:

    “You need a lot of resilience to deal with rejection, manuscript after manuscript.”

    -that is the saddest, and these days most unnecessary thing to go through I’ve heard in awhile…especially in this day and age when you can publish yourself. Let the readers decide. Write your story, edit/proof it well. Have test readers go through it…and GET IT OUT THERE. If you price it right, and have ANY talent whatsoever, you will succeed. If you have even ONE person read and like what you did, you win. Otherwise what’s the point? To gain some mythic approval from a walled garden of people who judge whether you are worthy to join some mythical club? Or telling stories and entertaining people?

    I am an independent writer/author. I published myself. I’ve sold. My book is available, and people have loved it.
    Insecure? Not about the desire to create, tell and share stories, and that is what writing fiction is all about. Anything else is just rubbish.

    Like

    • Shari Risoff says:

      I agree totally with what Casey (CJ) said here!

      That said, I do still struggle with the ‘it’s not perfect yet’ insecurity, until one reader tells me that what I’ve written has made a difference to him or her, given them hope in their life. Then I know it is finished, whether or not it is perfect, which of course is unattainable anyway.

      Let go of insecurity about rejection and write! Get your stories out there and let the readers be the one to accept or reject your work.

      Like

  10. C.J. Peter says:

    “You need a lot of resilience to deal with rejection, manuscript after manuscript.”

    -that is the saddest, and these days most unnecessary thing to go through I’ve heard in awhile…especially in this day and age when you can publish yourself. Let the readers decide. Write your story, edit/proof it well. Have test readers go through it…and GET IT OUT THERE. If you price it right, and have ANY talent whatsoever, you will succeed. If you have even ONE person read and like what you did, you win. Otherwise what’s the point? To gain some mythic approval from a walled garden of people who judge whether you are worthy to join some mythical club? Or telling stories and entertaining people?

    I am an independent writer/author. I published myself. I’ve sold. My book is available, and people have loved it.
    Insecure? Not about the desire to create, tell and share stories, and that is what writing fiction is all about. Anything else is just rubbish.

    Like

  11. sklase says:

    I have 50 published stories and I definitely still struggle with insecurity. After all, I have had 400 submissions to get the 50 publications. There are days I want to quit and say to myself “working a regular job has netted me so much more than writing” and “I’ll never be a great writer so why keep trying” and honestly, I don’t know why I keep plodding on, but I do.

    Like

  12. southwrite says:

    I think every writer at every level has to deal with fear and insecurity. The profession itself is one of constantly asking for acceptance and knowing that rejection can come at any time. No matter how much of our work has been sold, we always seem to judge ourselves by what we’ve done lately. Some of this is irrational fear, but less than we would like to admit.

    Like

  13. Eliza says:

    I heard a story about a man in his late 70s studying law. He wanted to be a judge by 90. When asked what keeps him going he said “I never want to reach the top. From the top the only way is down.”

    It’s a good perspective to have in life. Always strive to keep climbing up. To keep improving. To keep moving on. Don’t aim for the top because the only way is down.

    Not being perfect means you still have room to grow. You aren’t at the pinnacle of a career about to take a nosedive.

    That’s how I see it.

    Like

  14. ecarasella says:

    I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t struggle with insecurity. It’s inherent to our craft, I think. But it’s also very necessary. We put ourselves out there each and every time we show the world our creations. And we change a few minds along the way, well . . .

    Like

  15. I’m my own worst enemy. Simple as that. But I plow through it. Sometimes I have knock-down, drag-out fights with myself over the writing and whether or not I can do it. One time, I didn’t talk to myself for a week over it. That was a great writing week.

    Like

  16. ashapark says:

    Reblogged this on What Would That Writer Do? and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more. I’m terribly insecure about my work and compare to other people.

    Like

  17. M T McGuire says:

    Most of the time, I have a bullet proof arrogance about my writing because it’s good enough for me and if it’s not good enough for someone else that’s fine because there must be other people like me. Then every now and again I realise how low my standards are and what a shit judge I am. That’s when I realise that actually there might not be many people like me. If that’s true, I’ll tell you for nothing, I’m screwed. So I try not to think about it.

    Cheers

    MTM

    Like

  18. glenn2point0 says:

    I think the nature of blogs and sharing our thoughts and experiences allows others to connect with us. Giving the words of encouragement when most needed.

    Like

  19. Completely agree, especially with one reply about writers being able to self publish. I think I still need to have a traditional publisher/agent tell me my writing is good instead of listening to those who have actually read if. Will I ever take the self pub plunge? Who knows 😉

    Like

  20. sjoycarlson says:

    I also struggle with insecurity as well around my writing. I think it’s part of what pushes me to seek perfection in my work. It is depressing just how hard it is to get traditionally published though. I’ve seen some incredibly depressing stats….

    Like

  21. For me it’s less that I’m no good and more how many great writers are already out there. Every time I read something beautiful I feel simultaneously lifted up and slightly sad that it wasn’t me. I think that’s why writing, for me, comes from not being able to live contentedly without putting words on a page, rather than hoping for enormous success through words. ‘Food on the table, roof over my head’ I remind myself on the bad days…

    Like

  22. Gene'O says:

    Insecurity held me back from getting the feedback I needed to improve my writing for years. What finally helped me get over it was getting a job that allowed me to work with writers for a couple of years and see that not asking for the feedback was really, really slowing my improvement as a writer. The insecurity hasn’t gone away, I’ve just learned to keep it in check and share my work anyway. Love the image!

    Like

  23. Gene'O says:

    Reblogged this on Just Gene'O and commented:
    Here’s a post about something I’m sure we can all relate to – fear and insecurity as a writer. It includes links to several articles on the topic, and check out the discussion thread!

    Like

  24. A little insecurity is necessary. It helps you edit. Still, most May tale it too far.

    Like

  25. Dustin says:

    Very interesting blog, Jodie! I think it’s great that you chose to delve into the insecurity of the writer, a subject that should be talked about more often and by many others, IMO.

    Sadly, one of my biggest faults, or fears, is an utter lack of self-confidence, not only in writing but in my personal life, as well…:(

    Like

  26. Thank you so much for this. I especially love the picture you incorporated. “I am enough” is what I needed.

    Like

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