Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking.
If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.
June 3 question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?
The awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre! Be sure to check out their posts after you read mine.
I can tell you, right? This is a safe space?
Okay. Here's goes:
The truth is: I don't know what I'm doing.
I'm almost 50 years old. I've read a lot of books about writing and biographies of writers.
I've been working as a (part time) professional writer for five years, and I've been writing in one way or another since I could hold a pen.
One year, I made enough money on my writing that it impacted my taxes.
That's a measure of success I dreamed about all my life.
But still, every time I sit down to the page, every time I consider a marketing strategy, every time I take part in an event, there's this little moment of panic when I realize that I'm making this up, that there isn't a clear and correct path to follow because there are thousands of ways to do this and all of them are good and bad.
Choosing a path, within a career or even within a story used to give me serious analysis paralysis. I wanted to choose the *right* way. So I would research, consider, and dither for years on end. It's why I was forty-two before I committed to regular, disciplined writing and actually finished something substantial.
It took me that long to realize that the only way forward is to choose a path and commit to it. You can backtrack if turns out to be a dead end (I certainly have!), and try another fork in the road (that too!), but if you don't try something, you'll just stand there all your life and never get any nearer to your goals.
So, yeah, five years into making this a career, I still don't know what I'm doing, but that doesn't scare me anymore. In fact, it's kind of exciting, realizing how much there is still to learn, how much further I can grow.
That's my secret cap, I'm always learning.