I wouldn’t say that I’m a terribly insecure writer, but I’m not that secure in my success either, and there’s a lot of stuff that’s been going on in my creative life the last little while to make me more uncertain of things that I’d trusted in before. More than that, though, I’ve been a big believer, for months, in the value of writers supporting other writers, and it’s really hard to get powerful support if you’re not in a space where it’s safe to let your insecurities out.
So, I guess that’s what I should be doing here. I feel like going to Kansas this summer, for all that I learned, was a big one-two punch to my self-confidence and showed everybody there that I don’t really know how to put a short story together. And then there was the Storywonk class, in which I dissected one of my favorite novella manuscripts and realized that it had too little conflict running through its veins, and a somewhat misshapen skeleton.
But I do know that none of this is a reason to stop trying, to stop engaging with my stories. I’ve resolved to go back to the short story side for September, to keep working on editing all the shorts in my portfolio that I don’t feel completely hopeless on, and to kick ass critiquing stories for other people, on critters.org, in the Kansas online alumni circle and for the Toronto convention writers triangle.
And I will always remember, if not the exact words, the sense of the message at the bottom of the congratulatory certificate that my local Hamilton ML’s, Gale and Rhonda, gave me at the National Novel Writing Month TGIO party last winter:
“We who are about to write, salute you.
We who have written, envy you.
We who will write, will support you in all your writing endeavours.”