Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writer's - call to arms!

Time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Thank you Ninja Leader Alex for calling us together again. I'm all pumped this month! I've decided to plumb the depths of my insecurity and see what it is really made of. After all word-smiths, what is the meaning of insecure? Let me look the word up in my door-stopper dictionary (American Heritage - I know, I know - I'm all about all things Canadian but somehow this is the dictionary that captured my heart lo those many years ago and I've stuck to it).  Here goes;

insecure - adj. 1. Not secure or safe; inadequately guarded or protected. 2.Unsure; unstable; shaky;  3. Lacking self-confidence; uncertain.
I am well aware that it is probably meaning #3 that we are using in this sense, however, being word-smith warriors let us try #1. Yes! That is true. I am not secure or safe being a writer. I'm (to borrow heavily from my new best friend, Tom Petty) free-falling with not even the possibility of getting snagged on the branch of some kindly tree. I am inadequately guarded or protected. I don't have financial security by being a writer - only Margaret Atwood does and perhaps John Irving. I am not protected by the state - Harper's Canada hates an artist - knows we are all slavering to bring him and his bean-counting ways down. My family loves me but they cannot really protect me from my mad desire to spend every free moment writing. Why, just last night I wrote a friend I've known since I was fourteen and said that my dream of being a real writer is just as strong in me now as when we first met.
I think I am also feeling a little #2 - unstable and shaky. I've had a couple of rejections since I last touched base with this group and that always take the piss out of a person. I wonder if I'm not dreaming a vain dream - that really I probably can't write at all and everyone is just as sweet as pie to me but behind my back they are chuckling wryly and shaking their heads at my folly.
As to #3 - I can say in all honesty - that is not me! I do not lack self-confidence nor am I uncertain. Why I've never been more certain. I am a writer and therefore the wry chuckles do not penetrate my true writer's heart. I am certain that after forty-six years of seeing myself as a writer that I am in fact - voila - a writer! Maybe I'm not a fully published writer - oh, I've had some essays and poems published - and some of my plays have hit the boards - but no one could say I am not a writer. I write. Daily. I will continue to because I LOVE the process. I'm working on a new novel - started with the BuNoWriMo crowd and I'm up to 7,000 words. I have people that never existed before. A woman named Lou with two daughters and an ex-husband. Some elderly eccentric old ladies she's distantly related to in Sante Fe. A life that I gave her with all sorts of complications and excitements. She wouldn't exist without me. She needs me to tell her story - I'm the only one that can.
So, dear fellow writers and members of this society of truly unsafe, free-falling dreamers and schemers - let us do the marvelous shaky dance of the writer warriors. Approach your desk, place your bottom as securely as possible on your chair, waggle your fingers in the air in front of you, hum your little tune (me - it's Free Falling today) and WRITE!


Liza said...

Love that song. Love it. And, I love hearing your certainty. I have to learn to judge myself by what I know inside and not by what I'm afraid others are thinking about "She's a fake," "She's a phony," or "If she's really a writer, where's her book?" Most times I can banish those thoughts, but sometimes it's hard. Except when my bottom is in the chair and I'm writing...those nasty insecurities don't worry me then.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Liza - glad to see you! I must say that I was feeling a trifle insecure after having this up all day and no comments! And I really visited a ton of folk on the insecure writer's group too. Weird. Yep, I know what you mean - the insecurities flee when you take your seat. said...

I love your spunk, Jan. Thanks for this post! Yeah, rejections take the piss out of a person. But we've gotta persevere.

Thanks for your comment on my blog too.
Keep on keeping on.


Gwen Gardner said...

Jan, it sounds like you've got it together and have the "write" attitude. I'm doing BuNoWriMo too, but I'm behind. I only decided to participate on June 1st with no outline - after 3 chapters I had to stop and write one. Like you, I'm feeling good about it, though. See you around!

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Hi Jan. Thanks for visiting/following. I've returned the compliment although I'm sure I followed you ages ago. Who knows with google lately?

Anyway, you probably have a lot more rejections to go yet! Don't give up! You'll hit a winner in the end.


ali cross said...

I loved the "marvelous shaky dance of the writer warrior". My bottom is squarely in my chair!

Tara Tyler said...

i love it! defy the insecurity!

randi lee said...

Love the last paragraph--definitely advice for the ages!!