Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Is it wrong to state that I know I can write? I'm no Rowling or Tolkien or Poe. (Though I've been told I'm related to Poe in some odd, round about way. That would explain the vast collection of ravens about the house.) I'm not insecure in my ability to write.

Perhaps I'm insecure in the future reception of my work? No...not really. I mean, I'm a bit nervous as to how it will be received by the agents and publishers of the world. But I feel there's a market for what I write. I'm not insecure about that.

What am I insecure about? Easy. I'm insecure in my butt-in-chair technique. Meaning: I have a vast storehouse of ideas -story ideas, novel ideas- that I love and really feel good about but they will never get written if I don't write them. What causes this ambivalence toward my writing desk? Why do I shudder when I see my computer? Why do I rush past it as it blinks at me, whispering tales of magical worlds, haunted train stations and possessed paintings?

Maybe I don't believe in the stories themselves. Or maybe, just maybe my insecurity lies in my ability to tell them as true and raw as possible. I know I can tell a story. I know I have good story ideas. But to tell a good story in such a way that the reader, heck, the author herself, is THERE, in the story, as a character, a chair, a rock, the path down which the villain stomps. Do I have that in me? Am I strong enough to write the bones and blood and skin and guts that are necessary to bring these Frankenstein monsters to life?

There. I found it. My insecurity. Can I write the truth?

This post is a part of Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Find links to more inspiring posts HERE. Thanks again, Alex!


  1. Absolutely! You've got it in you to do this.

  2. I didn't write for the longest time because I didn't think I had anything to say. Now I do.

  3. You just need to go for it and know it won't compel or move anyone at first. As wonderfully as you write on your blog, I bet you're even better with a story.

  4. The great thing about writing is that it doesn't have to be true. At least that's the way I look at it. My character can die, then live again, because I said so. They can walk upside down, not breathe, shrink instead of growing. That's how I look at it, because after all it's my story and it's true if I say so it is. But perhaps I'm lying to myself? Great post. Keep writing and I'm sure your stories will come alive.

  5. Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm stressing over at the moment too. I know I can write, but can I write well enough to make the reader BELIEVE?

  6. Well, I'd say you just did a pretty awesome job of writing the truth right here, so the answer is YES! Now get the butt in the chair. ;)

  7. This is perfect. I think you just nailed my own insecurity on the head.

  8. I know what you mean! Sometimes the hardest part of the writing process for me is just sitting down and starting to type. It tends to get easier after that, though!

  9. Butt in chair to write is a biggie. Sure, I can do BIC to be on the computer and reading but, yeah that BUTT needs to be writing. One sentence at a time. =)

  10. Oh, I feel this one. I can write. And I have great ideas. But when I am trying to write the great ideas, do I hit it right so the readers GET my great ideas? I just finished my second 'high concept' idea... it was my 11th book, so these HUGE ideas don't come across very often. But the bigger ideas defininitely leave me with a little discontent because I haven't quite nailed it.

  11. I know exactly what you mean. I get those pangs of insecurity as well, sometimes, especially if I read a book that's in the same genre as the one I'm working on.

    When that happens, I wait for the pang to dull before I remind myself that everything happens in time. First I start with ol' Frankie's skeleton, then I do the meat and then I do the skin and details that makes him/her what it's supposed to be.

    No one can do everything perfectly at once. :-)


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