Yesterday I read a wonderfully, brilliant and honest piece of writing from someone I admire very much. She will be a published author next year. She is Anna Spargo-Ryan.
Anna is such a beautiful writer and has been such an inspiration in my writing aspirations. Yesterday she shared something over at Overland that all writers should read.
Anna shared the story of how she nearly killed her novel by basically losing her self belief and trust in her own ability.
You can read the full article here. And you should.
The reason Anna’s story resonated with me was because I have been in much the same place. After having my manuscript critiqued I lost confidence in myself and began to question everything I’d ever done. Every word I’d written. Every sentence I’d constructed. Every idea I’d transformed into the written word.
It wasn’t the criticism that broke me, no, I’m pretty tough in that respect. I could see my plot holes, understood the areas in which needed fleshing out, and knew I needed to work on my characters further. Oh and point of view!
What shattered me was the way in which I believed best to ‘fix’ my story.
It was rigid and structured. And although I did learn a lot throughout the process of learning ‘novel construction’ I also lost my own voice. The way in which I write.
We can’t all fit in the box. There isn’t one way to write a book that works for everyone. And this box like method wasn’t for me. It was a box of concrete in which I was thrown into the sea. I sank, drowned.
It is only now, over a year later that I am ready to look at that manuscript again. I’m ready to follow my own lead on writing. I’m ready to trust myself again and be confident in the words that build around me. They won’t be perfect, and yes they will need a lot of work, hard work. But they are telling my story, the way in which it needs to be told. The only way I can tell it.
And you know what? I think the lesson learned here doesn’t only apply to writers.
It can apply to everyone. How often do we compare ourselves to others and doubt ourselves? How often do we try and follow the pack to only end up much further away from where we want to be? How often do we replace our self-confidence with self-destruction?
We don’t all fit in the same box We aren’t cans to be labelled. We can’t all follow the same ‘tried and true’ path. We are our own.
And thank god (or whoever) for that.
Have you doubted yourself recently?
Linking with Essentially Jess (and NaNoWriMo superstar) for I Blog On Tuesdays.