Can A Writer Afford To Have Low Self-Esteem?: An Honest Look

Hey guys!  I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!  Even though this post may not be a part of my Writing Tips series, this will still be a writing post, more or less.  This actually took me a long time to decide if I would write this post or not, because I was going to be completely honest about a few things.  Being a writer is hard.  Being a beginning writer is even harder.  Today I’m going to talk about a few things that I’m sure every single author on this planet has experienced at least once, so I hope that you find something relatable here!

 

I started reading books when I was seven, and I loved the idea of making up stories.  I still remember pulling all-nighters to finish books, and I started doing that to make my own.  I wrote in journals and notebooks, filling them with all kinds of stories.  I read everything I could and I wrote when I had the opportunity.  Eventually, I discovered that creating your own plots and characters was hard – mind blower, am I right? – and I startled dabbling in fan fiction.  I found it easier to write something that was already created.  I got tired of that and wrote my first book when I was thirteen.  It was twenty-four chapters, ready for a sequel, and it was utterly terrible.  You see, I was sorely lacking in the talent department.  Sure, I read every book I could get my hands on about how to write, but none of them could tell me how I could make my stories look good on paper, or how I could even MAKE my ideas look good.  I was a terrible story teller.

Today, I still have no talent.  I had to work very, very hard to be able to write the way I do, and it’s still not to my liking.  When I realized that the book I wrote when I was thirteen was terrible, I hid it away in my desk drawer, never to be seen again.  I went back to fan fiction writing.  I was bored with it, but I knew I would be better off.  I mean, I’ve got to admit, some of it is pretty good, I guess.  Flash forward to 2018.  My BFF, whose also a writer (a better one than me, in fact (go check out her blog, Christian Girl Writes!)), told me about a book she was writing, and after reading the first few chapters of it, I wanted back in on the action.  I missed writing my own characters and forming my own plots.  So I thought I would start slow.  My sister wanted me to write a story for her, and she chose the fantasy/medieval genre.  So, on May 14, 2018, I started work on a book that I’m not quite ready to share yet.

It wasn’t supposed to be anything but a little short story for my sister.  It turned into something so big, it needs six books to tell the whole story.  I got lots of ideas, and started writing multiple different books.  I decided to share my stories with the world, and I started posting The Card Dealer.  I discovered my true talent through working on all of these projects; problem solving.  I have fallen into so many plot holes I lost count, but, no matter how much it seemed like I couldn’t piece things back together, I was always able to fix it.  When a single plot hole threatened to sink the entire plot of my very first series, I was able to fix it with a little brainstorming (though I had a killer headache for the rest of the day…I don’t think I’ve ever brainstormed so hard in my life).  That talent was enough for me…

…Until the Summer of 2019 rolled along.  I had finished the first book in my first series, and I realized that the last plot hole had destroyed the plot so much that it wasn’t even relevant to the second book.  The second draft would be about rewriting most everything in it, and I was tired.  Then no one seemed to be giving me any feedback about The Card Dealer.  A writer isn’t supposed to work alone.

I couldn’t read other books anymore, because I began to get discouraged.  Even reading my BFF’s work made me feel like I’d never make it in the writing world.  My self-confidence took a nose dive, and I stopped writing.  I would stare at the screen for hours, but could never put anything down.  If I had a dollar for every time I almost threw it all away, I would be a millionaire.  As far as I was concerned, I never wanted to write again.

But it started affecting the way I lived.  I became angry and overwhelmed.  I wanted to know why I was having such a hard time, why I couldn’t seem to do what other writers could.  Suddenly, my problem solving talent didn’t do me much good.  I started to think of other writers as my rivals, and that is no way to live.

You might have read other posts of mine talking about that Forest of Piano anime.  I LOVE the show, and the biggest reason is because of how relatable it is.  And the character I relate to the most?  Shuhei Amamiya.  In all of my life, I have never resonated with a character so much.  Shuhei was an amazing pianist, but after seeing everyone around him playing even better than he could, he lost his confidence as a pianist.  He even began to think of his best friend, Kai Ichinose, as his rival.  After he gets booted form the International Chopin Piano Competition, he snaps.  He reveals to Kai that he hates him, and their friendship falls apart.  Later, Shuhai realizes that he was wrong, and he is a good pianist in his own way.  No one can play like him, and that’s what makes his music special. He reconciles his friendship with Kai, and goes on to make sure that his friend wins the competition.

That got me thinking, and I realized something very important; you don’t have to be better in order to be good.  I took solace in the fact that every writer – J. R. R. Tolkien, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, J. K. Rowling – all of them, have felt the way I did before.  Every single writer in this entire world, no matter how good they are, have felt like giving up at one point in their lives.  Writing a book is hard.  Your creating another world for someone to disappear to.  Your creating living, breathing characters who people can relate to.  It’s not something that can happen overnight, and it takes years to get good at.

I started writing again.  Obviously, I still have a lot of self doubt, but I’m better than I was.  I still get discouraged, and I still have to take a step back from writing to catch my breath, but the point is that I haven’t given up yet.  And neither should you.  No matter how bad you think your writing is, and no matter how much you feel like you’ll never add up, YOU CAN.  You can’t stop writing, because it’s in our blood to write.  A writer can’t simply stop, because writing is the only thing on our minds.  If you have stories and ideas to share, then share them!  Your writing has value, and so does mine.  Even if it doesn’t feel like it, it does.  I mean, who else can write like you or me?  Each of us have our own unique stories that are just waiting to be written!

Most people don’t see what it takes to write a book.  Most people see the beautiful covers encasing hundreds of pages and thousands of words sitting on a book shelf in a book store.  They don’t see the sleepless nights that went into making them, or the glint of madness in our eyes as we write that plot twist.  And they most certainly don’t see all the tears that went into writing it.

Don’t lose hope, because every writer has been there before.  Your work needs to be shared, so what are you waiting for?  Get back to that computer/notebook and write!

 

Thank you to all of my readers, and especially to those who read my blog!  You all mean the world to me!  I love hearing from you, so start up a conversation in the comments below!  I’d love to hear your writing story!  God bless, and have a good day!

 

 

8 thoughts on “Can A Writer Afford To Have Low Self-Esteem?: An Honest Look

  1. cgirlwrites

    Great post!! Writers definitely can’t afford to have low self-esteem! One thing that has always helped me is remembering who I am in Christ, and that He has given me a gifting, and that I am the only one who can write my story— no one else can! And the same goes for you! And you’re a great writer, I have no idea what you’re talking about with regards to having no talent! You have lots of talent!! 👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 2 people

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