It's another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Here is the question (always optional) for this month.
January 5 question - What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?
I don't want to start the new year with regrets so I thought I'd flip the question.
It now reads :
What's the one thing about your writing career that fills you with joy and confidence? How were you able to build on it?
One of the things about my writing career that fills me with joy and confidence is that I don't give up. I never ever said, even to myself, this is foolishness - I'm going to quit trying to get published and focus on other things. On Christmas Day I re-watched the latest version of Little Women. At the end of this particular sort of meta-view of the story Jo watches through the window as her book (Little Women) is printed, compiled and bound. I felt my eyes fill up with tears as I have imagined this scene for so many years with my own book in its place. This year it will happen - oh, I'm quite sure I won't be able to look through a window as it is printed etc... but it will happen and I will hold my own novel in my hands.
How did I build on my stick-to-it-ability? I think for a variety of reasons. One was that writing was my goal and not becoming an author. Sure I wanted desperately to be published but even when it seemed that it was never going to happen I knew I would write. I would write poems, plays, novels, essays, posts and so on. Another way I supported my aim to write was to have it as a built in habit. I don't write everyday like Stephen King but I have a very well established habit of writing. My father, who edited magazines and wrote in his role as head of public relations for the Canadian Armed Forces, told me that any talent I had for writing would be second to my talent for "bum glue".
Also, supporting my writing is my intention. What do I hope to aim by writing - for even fiction can have a purpose beyond entertainment (though not sneezing at that either!)? In writing The Crooked Knife I intended to bring attention to the vulnerability of youth on reserves in Canada, in particular in Labrador. As well I wanted people to understand something about the rich culture of Labrador. For that which we have empathy for or connection to will make us protective of.
Another considerable reason for reaching my writing goals is that I have a community of writers that buoy me up when I'm floundering, celebrate any successes, and let me know of their own journey on the path. Many of those are people I've met through this group or by posting on my blog. Some of them are friends that I see regularly in person to write. I don't believe in those who say they are lone wolves. A biologist would tell you that a lone wolf is either sick or crazy. We too are pack animals and need other to help rub off our barnacles, and keep us both humble and well oxygenated with humour.
Now I'll leave you and go back to the editing I'm doing. I thought of something in the middle of the night and think I know where to put it!
I hope you are well and able to enjoy this crazy writing life and I wish you all joy and confidence for the coming year!