Another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. I think this month for iwsg I’m just going to go with a full tilt insecurity meltdown. Apologies in advance.
I know that a lot of writers get insecure, and discouraged, and consider quitting. I also know that I am fairly lucky, having had some small success with writing and gaining a tiny group of readers. I am grateful for all that, truly.
But (here comes the insecurity)… have I come as far as I can? Have I finally reached the limits of my talents and my confidence?
I think there is a ratio of criticism to encouragement that must be maintained in order for creative people to go on making art as a job. Thanks to my shitty marketing skills and my horrible personality, I’ve lost the balance of that ratio. Lately I have had almost no encouragement and quite a bit more criticism than is comfortable. I realize I probably deserve it all, but still, it’s not fun.
And it makes me second guess my usual “I can take anything” attitude re: feedback. Maybe I can’t take “anything.” Maybe even my thick skin has a limit. I guess a stronger person would use the criticism to become a better writer? To produce more marketable stuff and learn to effectively self-promote? I am not that strong of a person, unfortunately.
I’m not willing to stop writing, but I think I have to stop “being a writer.” I have to let go of the idea that people should enjoy my work. I need to stop hoping for financial success. Maybe if I release those expectations, I will find some happiness in writing again. I hope so.