Quote of the Day: I am profoundly uncertain about how to write. I know what I love or what I like, because it’s a direct, passionate response. But when I write I’m very uncertain whether it’s good enough. That is, of course, the writer’s agony. – Susan Sontag
I have joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group started by the super Ninja writer, Alex J. Cavanaugh. (Click the badge on the right to learn more and read about other writers and their insecurities.) It started in September, but it was during my birthday week, and I was feeling less insecure at the time, due to all the celebrating, so I’m starting today. I searched my photos for something to depict the insecurities I feel.
It’s not a great shot. I was taking a walk in the neighborhood and brought my camera because we are at peak fall colors. A car drove by, kicking up dust and creating a haze. The gravel road, the haze, the dust in my eyes, the thickness in the air as I take a breath – that’s what my insecurities feel like. I’m not sure if I’m even on the right path.
I went to the children’s writers conference in Grand Forks, but thought maybe I don’t really belong there because I haven’t had any books for kids or teens published. I’ve been working on a play that is for adults, although I do have an 18-year-old girl in it.
As I was writing my first full-length play, Coffee Shop Confessions, I’d go to the Coco Moon where I imagined it would be performed. As I walked through the door, I could picture the “real” theater people standing outside, banging on the windows, heckling me, saying “Who are you to write a play?” ha ha ha ha. “You don’t have any training or theater credentials.” pfftt. They’d stick out their tongues and make rude gestures. “You don’t belong!” They’d shout.
So, I brought along a friend, at first, to help quiet the voices. She actually laughed at them. That shut them right up. I learned. I gained confidence. I heard her always encouraging voice saying, “Of course, you can.” Then, I shut off my inner critic. Snapped her mouth shut and zipped her lip. I closed the shades on those hecklers, and got down to business. You see, I had other voices in my head, the voices of my characters, and they wanted to get out. They had stories to tell, lives to share, and relationships to be formed.
And, now, it’s done. I’m ready to cast the show and watch it come to life. Right here, in my local coffee shop.
Here I am explaining my play to this young woman. She’s not acting here, she was truly interested. In fact, she inspired the character Micki. Also, the photographer is Joey Halvorson who was doing a photo shoot for my article in Her Voice. Joey’s voice offered encouragement that day. She also used it to bring my character Lolly to life at a table reading of the script, and will be Lolly when it’s finally performed.
Now, all I can hear in my head is I get by with a little help from my friends! Thanks, Beatles! (JeMA, Joey, Roxane, and all my friends who kept saying, “Of course, you can!”)
Journaling Prompt: Who are your cheerleaders? Who tells you that you can do it? Who quiets those insecure voices in your head?