About Writing

Writing—let’s talk about it. 

Lately I’ve been feeling really insecure about my writing. Some days I feel so competent, so confident, and others I feel I have no idea what I’m doing, and that any notion of competency is something that ought to be questioned at every turn.

This is, naturally, the best way to grow as a writer: to constantly question your adequacy in your field leads you down a path that can only arrive at excellence (that or madness). That said, there is collateral damage to this imposter syndrome, which is, of course, a complete rejection of compliments, an overly-developed self-loathing, and a desire to feel good enough, as your worth is unlikely to come from the churning chipper-shredder of critical faculty that is your mind now. 

It’s a mess. It’s a messy mess, and it’s the worst sort of mess because you alone can’t clean it up; it takes others—others who say your writing is worth something—for you to feel like it is, for the ground beneath to clear, and for you to see what truly lies beneath it. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t times when I’ll write something and think, “Yeah, I nailed that,” or times when I’ll reread a sentence or paragraph I wrote and get excited and think, “Oh, this is really good.” I imagine that is the experience of any writer who’s worked at it long enough—why else would we write if not because we know we are good at it, or at the very least have something to say worth being said?

But that’s just it, isn’t it? Something to say. Sometimes (and I’m still learning this) it’s okay not to have something to say. Sometimes it’s okay to want to write but not be able to. “Writer’s block,” as we call it. But perhaps we should call it something different, as “blockage” seems to imply something unnatural occurring, something that is detrimental to the process, when in reality it is often something necessary, something natural and to the benefit of the work. It is distance, it is time afforded to reflect—and we all need it sometimes.

So whether it be writing that is your passion or something else, afford yourself the time you need to come at it with a fresh perspective—ideally one that isn’t “Oh no, I’m awful at this!” Hopefully, with a little time and distance, that desire and drive to express, to create, to invent, will find you hungry for it, and when it comes time for you to put pen to paper, you’ll be ready for what flows out of you, and it will feel honest. 

—Announcement—

My friend Tenley and I have decided to start collaborating on a short story! It’s a sort of mix between the two genres in which we write (mine being primarily horror/gothic, and Tenley being YA/fantasy). More news to come, but suffice to say I really, really think you will enjoy it (you being anyone who reads my writing enough to get a sense of who I am, or just enjoys spooky stories).

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