For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to read and loved to write even more. I’ve always said if there was only one thing I was good at, it was writing. But deep down I don’t think I ever truly believed that. Believed in myself. In my writing ability. And it has certainly held me back. Sadly. My greatest fear is rejection. Clearly, I’ve chosen the wrong passion! Rejection seems to be par for the course when it comes to this writing gig. I also crumble under criticism. I take it so personally. When I write I feel vulnerable. I am expressing myself in the rawest form. I feel exposed. And to have what I write criticised, even constructively, makes me feel unworthy. My constant refrain is “I’m just not good enough.” I’m not a real writer, it’s just all in my head. A fantasy I have created. This is what plagues my thoughts daily. That I am simply faking it and that one day someone somewhere will wake up and say “you had us fooled but now we see right through your charade!”
I’ve always thought that perhaps if I could write just one amazing thing then I would prove something to the world and to myself; that I really had what it takes all along. Then I could die happy. But that amazing thing hasn’t happened and I am not sure if it ever will. I do not have a niche, I haven’t found my voice. I feel like I am stumbling blindly in the dark. I cling to the hope that if I keep taking classes, keep learning more about this craft that one day, miraculously all the pieces will just fall into place. Things will simply click. And I will be a real writer just like Pinocchio became a real boy. Where is a blue fairy when you need one?
In my narrative class today, I felt the feelings of unworthiness come creeping back in with a vengeance. One by one, around the room, my fellow classmates reeled off names of authors I had never even heard of let alone read. Up until that point I had considered myself fairly knowledgeable about all things literary. Now suddenly I felt lost and slightly embarrassed. I smiled and nodded along, pretending to know who Gail Jones and Scott Blackwood were while silently cursing myself for never finishing The Alchemist or purchasing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I made mental notes to expand my reading repertoire as soon as possible.
All this self-loathing has sucked away my last dregs of energy. I feel spent. And empty. And I still don’t really know whether I’m coming or going or what I truly want out of all of this. Perhaps I should have taken up Chemistry or Maths. Something certain, stable, and predictable. Fact-based. Dull. I would have died a thousands deaths and I know it. So I write. For the sake of writing. Because it’s all I know. And for now, at least, it’s good enough for me.