If you aren't already on the list, stop over at Alex's blog and visit the list of writers either spilling it about their insecurities or offering words of encouragement.
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I'm not so sure. I think some people make it their life's work to hide their insecurities and weaknesses. The fact is that if you show weakness in some work environments (like the ones I've been in), you become weak in people's eyes. People constantly judge their co-workers' or employees' competence. Constantly. (If you haven't been in one of these work environments, good for you, seriously.)
I think people become good at hiding their weaknesses and faking their competencies, pretending to be more than they are for fear of ridicule (or unemployment). They rely on other people to make them look good or avoid situations that will showcase their flaws. Or they simply challenge other people publicly to shift the focus away from themselves.
But we writerly types can't hide behind other people. Our work is our work. We can't fake it or blame someone else. If we put a comma in the wrong place or misuse a word, we can't really blame the keyboard or the spellcheck. If we write less than perfect dialogue or aren't stellar with point of view or write a story with a few loose ends (or one of the dozens of other things we can do badly without realizing it), it's our weakness out there for everyone to see.
Despite all this, we have an odd compulsion to tell it the way we see it and express our insecurities even if it makes us seem a little more naked than we meant to be in such a public way.
I think the bottom line is that no one can measure up all the time. No one can be the image of their ideal self - for us, the ideal writer. There will always be another writer that wrote something so amazing we will feel like we can never get close to it. We will never get that novel to the point of perfection where we wouldn't change a word (although I'm certain I'm not alone in striving for it).
No matter how much we think we're being clear in the way we've painted the picture of a scene that's perfect in our minds and to our ears, someone will simply not get it. They won't know what the hell we're talking about. (This may be one of those times.)
I think we have to hold onto what we know are our strengths and repeat them to ourselves like a mantra.
For me, I know I have a gift for creating quirky characters. I was one of those quiet kids that constantly watched people, trying to figure them out. As a young adult, I realized I'm one of those people that's a magnet to the mentally ill. (Note to self to write a story about that.) Now that I'm not at all a young adult, I feel like I do a good job bringing these oddball characters to life.
What is your gift as a writer, one thing you know you do well that's indisputable?
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