Posts Tagged ‘support’ Archive

The Writing Community

Sophia’s post has inspired me, particularly her comments about how welcoming and supportive the writing community is.  I had written a first novel and knew writing was something I wanted to pursue and decided to take the leap into blogging and joining twitter.  At some point in those months (I say that like I don’t remember the exact moment, which in fact I do.  Here’s the blog post: The First Paragraph), Sophia commented on my post.  It was a huge turning point for me, some random stranger had commented on my blog and ended up wanting to be critique partners.

I am not a naturally competitive person.  I feel bad when sports teams lose, even when I’m cheering for a particular team.  I love games but constantly wish everyone could tie.  And I really dislike working really hard for something and still not winning or doing well, especially when there are other people I am competing against.  Those reasons must be why I quit sports after 7th grade and joined choir and did musicals instead.  I adore the writing community for some of these exact same reasons, everyone is so darn welcoming and supportive.  Strangers comment on blog posts and offer what help then can.  Big shot writers add you on twitter and offer advice.  Some may give you harsh critiques, but I haven’t yet encountered anyone who tells others to quit writing entirely, they always say to keep learning and work hard.

How often do we have the chance to belong to a community as wonderful as this?

Do You Doubt?

I have the best support system any girl could ask for.  I have an amazing boyfriend who gives me all the quiet time I need to write and is there to bounce ideas off of.  I have a Mom and Dad who are always willing to edit and read draft after draft of work.  I have a sister who is excited to be a part of my work.  And I have two dogs who sleep beside me while I write and keep me company.  These are my main supporters in my path to being a writer, along with friends, cousins, aunts, and grandparents.  All of these people are great at critiquing my work and not letting me think I am better than what I am, but at the same time they let me know I am not chasing after a dream I have no talent for.

If I know I am talented, have the dedication to work hard, and the willingness to learn, then why do I still doubt myself?

Occasionally, I doubt my ideas aren’t creative or that what I find interesting no one else will.  A lot of the time, I doubt my knowledge of grammar and punctuation.  Sometimes, I doubt that no matter how hard I work and how much I love what I do that no one, outside my circle of supporters, will respond to my work.  Most of the time, I doubt my writing, that when placed next to others it will fall far short.

There are two ways I can respond to doubt: one, I can stop writing and keep my stories in my head, and two, I can acknowledge my doubt and continue to work hard.

While reading other paragraph entries on Nathan Bransford’s blog, I was intimidated by many submissions and I definitely questioned how mine looked up against theirs.  I think this is great though because the only way I will improve is by reading and learning from others.

What’s especially cool about posting on Nathan’s blog is that TWO people liked mine.  Not ZERO, but TWO!!!  How cool is that?!  I know it’s not ten, or twenty, or a hundred who said something, but I was thrilled that both Patti and Sophia responded to my post.  Thank you both.

I believe all artists doubt, perhaps all people in all areas of work doubt their abilities.  The only way I want to respond to my own doubt is to push them aside and continue to work.  Doubting myself will only make me write…err, work harder.