Dessa's statment really resonates with my feeling of late about my writing. Perhaps it is because I have released my work on Amazon; or maybe it is that my group of writer friends has expanded exponentially in the last year; whatever the reason, my concern has switched from that of... am I really a writer, to... is what I write good. And with this switch comes a whole new set of worries for me to grapple with.
For one thing... I am suddenly intimidated to write. Even though I have completed three novels, I am suddenly scared the forth one might not be inside me. And, I have some evidence for this... I began a forth novel last January and was really struggling with it. I put it down to revise Betting Jessica and now, although I want to start it again, I am lost. Suddenly, every word seems critical.
When I first started to write my only goal was to actually complete an entire story. I didn't really worry about how good the writing was, I guess I figured I would cross that bridge if I ever actually finished. The only important thing to me, at that point, was not to be the person who worked on the same story for their entire life.
After I finished my novel, (at that point called The Sirens - for no real reason), I decided my next goal would be to simply learn how to edit and revise my own work. Through the help of an editor (and later friend) I set in place methods for editing which I still use today. I practiced these skills on my work, and ended up with a revised version of my novel, now called Betting Jessica.
Every step of my writing career has gone this way, from one learning experience to another, perhaps as a way of not needing to be such a harsh judge of myself. Now, though, as I circle back around, I find that my inner critic has surfaced and I ask myself constantly; am I perfecting what I have already learned?
Perhaps, as in Betting Jessica, when she decides that taking on bets can be a good way to motivate herself, I can look back over my writing history and see that approaching tasks as a learning experience has helped me to let go of the worry and focus instead on the work. If that is true.... I guess my newest lesson needs to be how to be a positive self-critic.
And then I can reframe to question from; is this good to... am I learning?