Recognizing my kind when I see them, I was one of the first to sign up for this monthy meeting of insecure writer types. My first post was on September 7th, 2011. It was titled Insecure Writers: Aren't We All? It was about fear being at the base of all our insecurities as writers. On this two year anniversary I wanted to take a look at some of the comments the post generated, because
I'll start with myself. Here's part of what I said:
"Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of making a fool of oneself, fear of being rejected, fear of being thought a fraud, these are all common ailments of the writer.
It's natural to feel these things and think we are alone in our emotions, but the truth is every writer, and I mean EVERY writer, feels these things. Even the successful ones."
"The fear comes with letting anyone SEE what I wrote. it's like until then, it is all still in my head. Putting it on paper is an act of intimacy. Putting it OUT THERE is an act of exhibitionism." -- Hart Johnson
"Writing doesn't terrify me usually until I know I'm going to share it . . . or until I write something a little "off-color" about someone or something I care about . . . a negative example instead of a positive one. I truly believe that words are best when golden, but we can't ignore the painful truths out there either." -- Tyrean Martinson
"You hit upon another of my fears - beginning. That's always the most difficult for me." -- Alex J. Cavanaugh
"Showing someone what I've written scares me, but not the writing itself. Maybe because while I'm writing the first draft, I never consider that anyone else might see it---I leave that type of analysis for draft 2 & 3 and somehow it's not so scary when I've got the hunk of marble sitting in front of me, ready for carving." -- Nicki Elson
"I write in a happy bubble of my own brilliance. Then when I'm done, it pops and I'm worried everything I've written is total sh**." -- Marsha Sigman
"I've learned not to let it stop me. Sometimes it delays me or slows me down, but ultimately I know that I will only truly fail if I let fear win." -- Isis Rushdan
"I love the quotes, and one of the greatest things I've learned during my blogging experience is how many others share the same fears as I do. It's great to know we're not alone!" -- Julie Flanders
"Strange that you should post this today and I should read it now, as a couple of hours ago I typed the title of a new project then proceeded to have lunch, do my nails, answer email. No, I'm not afraid. I'm not!" -- Carol Kilgore
"I'm not so afraid of starting a project or the writing itself--it's the analytical part of deciding if it's good or bad that scares me." -- The Golden Eagle
"I can't tell you how much I both fear and love the written word. It twists me up and yet, I can't stop trying. Sometimes it feels a bit obsessive." -- Angela Felstad
"Love, love, love your last line: "But courage means doing it anyway. Because you must." So, so true." -- Lynda Young
"I'm never afraid, until my husband comes along and reads what I've written and scowls." -- Crystal Collier
"I've taken on the habit of saying to myself 'one chapter at a time' because it calms me down. Thinking of 400 blank pages is indeed, terrifying." -- D. U. Okonkwo
"I thought i was the only one who puts off starting a project out of sheer fear." -- Libby Heily
"Great stuff. Thanks so much for recommending his books." -- Steve MC (okay, not his best quote on fear and the writer, but he's one of my biggest behind the scenes supporters, and I couldn't put this post together without acknowledging that)
There were lots of additional comments by other longtime friends too, but some were purely complimentary about the post and so I didn't quote them here. Though those kinds of comments often make my day and I appreciate every single one of them. I should also point out that in the two years since that post I've met hundreds of new people all walking this same writing path, and I can't imagine being in better company for the journey.
So on this second anniversary of the Insecure Writer's Support Group I want to say THANK YOU for all your inspirational words. I can't tell you how many times your support has made the difference for me. Especially on those days when I feel like quitting writing, giving up the blog, or giving in to the fear.
And a special shout out to Alex for bringing us all together!