Hi, my name is Jan and I'm an insecure writer.
To meet other members of our group go to Alex's site - he has the clubhouse.
I just tried doing a riff off of the 12 step program. I'm a big believer in AA and think it is an effective program. Heck, I know it is. My dad was a member for the last 19 years of his life - I went to his first meeting with him. But I couldn't do it. Why? Because writing isn't a disease - it is a cure.
The insecurity is a problem though. The lack of confidence to boldly move into our writing life - to truly engage with our skills, talent, and intention as writers - that's a problem. I don't want to be an insecure writer. Neither do I want to be a secure one - a smug, self-satisfied one. Why? Because I think they are generally just insecure ones in disguise. I don't want to be a tortured starving artist, or an ascetic to any cause. I want to be a journeyman, a working writer, a dependable craftsperson of the word. I want people to pick-up my books and sigh knowing that they are guaranteed a good read. Like John Irving, Graham Greene and Margaret Drabble.
Insecurity is a disease. It eats away at the soul and erodes all that is good in a writer. It causes us to second-guess every aspect of our writing and to (if given rein) encourage us to be 'safe' writers of bland missives, or spectacularly outrageous writers of unreadable prose. It causes us to keep our novels in drawers instead of in the postal system looking for a new home. It causes us to stutter when folks ask us what we're up to - not wanting the focus of their attention on our work. Or it causes us to clamber after false attention and feed our ego not our craft. Down with this insecurity I say. Let us instead put our energy into working our craft and being proud of where that brings us, of supporting fellow writers and encouraging emerging ones. Let us be proud to use words to brighten up the dark places in the world, to lighten the load of seriousness, or illuminate ignorance. I call on all my fellow writers to put down the cloak of insecurity and pick up their pens and go forth into the fray!