Today’s required reading: Rachelle Gardner’s “7 Bad Habits of Successful Authors.” Excellent stuff throughout, but one that resonates with me is 5: Insecure.
From the post:
It’s a well-known fact that all writers think they can’t write. One book in, six books in, 47 books in… every writer is convinced, over and over again, that it was a fluke, they’re not a writer, they’ve lost it, they can’t possibly do this again. Ah, insecurity is beautiful, isn’t it?
Although I’m not published, that’s me all over. But I’m working on fixing that. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you join The Insecure Writer’s Support Group for assistance with this affliction.
Coupled with insecurity was the belief that I didn’t deserve to have good things happen for me, particularly where writing is concerned. How dare I think I can get an agent? Who am I to daydream about book tours and signings and school visits and being on the BEA Buzz panel? The nerve of me believing that my work is worthy of public recognition!
All of these self-doubts worked in concert to cripple my creativity and stifle my aspirations. I said I wanted to be a writer, yet I did things that ensured it would never happen. Hel-lo, lizard brain!
If I could add anything to Ms. Gardner’s list, it would be 8: Getting In Your Own Way. Namely, doing stuff like this:
- Not writing
- Writing, but not revising
- Revising, but not querying
- Querying, but not submitting pages
- Submitting, but not re-submitting revisions
- Re-submitting, but not accepting representation
Sounds improbable, yet it happens all the time. I did a some of those things on that list like it was my job. I let fear make me afraid to even try.
Last year, I realized I was my own worst enemy. I needed to back up my lip service with action, so I came up with the 5 A’s: Acknowledge what you want. Accept hard work and rejection. Allow big dreams. Advocate for your desires. Admit it’s okay to fail and succeed.
It’s not a perfect philosophy and is subject to revision (cuz that’s what writers do), but so far it’s working for me.
Do you get in your own way? How do you resist self-sabotage?