Day 7: Unshakable Insecurities

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Today, as I return to the Insecure Writers’ Support Group fold, this post is inspired by my Gilmore Girls rewatch (begun 12/31 in honor of the late Edward Herrmann). I have always loved Lorelai from Gilmore Girls because of the things we have in common: an inability to sit still, tendency to be chatty, and need for constant stimulation, among other things. But as IWSG day approached, I watched an episode that featured the following quote.

Lorelai: “Oh, Luke, do not underestimate the complete and total lack of confidence I have in my abilities.” (Season 2, Episode 8 – The Ins and Outs of Inns)

I am incredibly lucky to have a partner who not only supports my writing goals, and wants me to succeed, but also genuinely believes I have talent, and could succeed. Without him, I simply would not be writing today, and I am always thankful.

I also have some lovely writer friends who share their struggles and cheer me on through mine, bringing fresh perspectives to issues that I expect to face alone.

And a week ago, a friend from high school I hadn’t spoken to in years got in touch to offer her ideas about my story and reiterate her interest in reading it as a draft when I’m ready. I’ve had offers for beta reading from other old friends and former professors, often people I don’t regularly keep in touch with–who may never have read anything I’ve written in the last decade.

All of the people I just listed believe in me, and I have no idea why. Absolutely none. That’s where the Gilmore Girls quote comes in.

I have won writing contests and been told by people I trust (see above re: my partner) that I write well. That I in no way suck and could be an author with enough time and effort. I don’t think anyone in my life has ever told me that I suck as a writer, in fact, but I still just can’t believe that I might be good at it. The last time I believed that, I was probably around fifteen years old and had yet to encounter the worst parts of life.

Now I write because I want to be better, because I hope that I could make a career out of it, and because it feels much better than not writing, even when it doesn’t. But I don’t feel like a writer, any more than I feel talented. I still see “writers” as shiny people I admire, like Rainbow Rowell and Scott Westerfeld, whose finished works are brilliant and leagues beyond my awful first drafts. No amount of reality checks about everyone’s early work changes that feeling for me. I don’t know if anything ever will, but I’m actually okay with that.

Because as bewildered as I am by my partner wanting to read my work, and old friends telling me I write well, I am grateful. It’s true for people outside my head, and I happily accept that. The inside of my head is rarely a logical place anyhow. 🙂

ETA: An introduction for the new year by IWSG request. I’m Toni, multitasking procrastinator extraordinaire, and I’m currently working on my third novel without having edited the first two yet. All three are set in the same YA fantasy world, but I’m also planning to try my hands at New Adult romance, adult fiction, and possibly someday a dystopian to call my own. I live in Salt Lake City but my heart belongs to the Pacific Northwest, and my family of one partner and two cats makes me smile every day.

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Day 7: Unshakable Insecurities

3 thoughts on “Day 7: Unshakable Insecurities

  1. You have been watching way too much GG! LOL. I have a distinct feeling that even the most popular author still feels insecure from one thing or another. It’s in our natures. Perhaps it’s even the insecurities that push us to try and do better. We just have to know when enough is enough and I think you haven’t reached that point because as you said everything you’ve written so far has been unedited. We will work together to finish our current drafts and then you can get to editing book 1 and then others can read it and give you more current feedback! There’s nothing better for a writer than seeing someone else’s perspective on their work and hey, you don’t always have to agree with everything a beta reader says but guaranteed there will be lots of useful information for you.

  2. I need to check out Gilmore Girls one of these days. I liked that quote. But very good post Toni. Hopefully someday soon you’ll be able to see what others see about your writing, even if it’s in a tiny moment of passing that it hits you. But perhaps the insecurity will be the reason for why you continue to work on your craft. That you won’t ever settle because you’ll always feel like your striving for a status that isn’t just ‘good enough’ or whatever level you’ve placed (or not placed) yourself at. Hopefully that made sense 😀

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