Today is the first Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting of 2013. This brain-child of Alex J. Cavanaugh has been a wonderful way for writer's to share insecurities, seek encouragement, and offer inspiration. If you're not already involved, get thee to the Insecure Writer's Support Group page and join! You have nothing to lose but your insecurities :).
Insecurities will grow like grass if you let them. They sneak in, sprout up, attempt to choke out the flowers. If left un-managed, leaves will gather at their roots and slowly the fertile soil will begin to suffocate. What's left is a vast expanse of perfectly good land gone to seed and left to lie dormant under a carpet of creeping weeds.
However, there are ways to get rid of the weeds. The grass will cower to a lawn mower, a scythe, a sharp pair of scissors. Some methods take more work than others but all will give the desired end result. And, once those pesky weeks of insecurity are trimmed down to size, something else will emerge...
...the path you once walked down so confident and full of ideas. It's still there, waiting under the shag, half forgotten. Tentative steps will reawaken your once brilliant dreams. Never fear the weeds that gather around your plots and characters. Trim them away and, bit by bit, they will come alive, take your hands, and pull you along. Your confidence will rise and you'll soon find yourself planted deep in the fertile soil of your writer's imagination.
The grass and weeds are the doubts and insecurities that this world flings at us daily: what if I'm not good enough? What if my ideas suck? What if mom/dad/sister/aunt/uncle/grandparent/friend/colleague is right and I'll never get anywhere with my stories?
The mower, the blades are the voices of other writers who have gone before, who remember that the path is always there, waiting for rediscovery. You never lose it; sometimes, you just forget the way.
This year, my goal is to keep the weeds pulled and the grasses cut back. To keep the path clear of the debris of well meaning (and some not so well meaning) voices that whisper "It would be better if you just go pursue a 'real' career and leave this writing junk alone." This year, I aim to follow that path to its end.
What will I find?
A cross-roads of course: new directions and new stories down which to ramble.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope your holiday season was filled with friends, family, and the awareness of every blessing you possess. Best of luck in this shiny New Year! Here's to many stories written and many new paths discovered!