Here I am just a few hours away from this month’s ISWG posting deadline and I’m struggling. How ironic, right? I think right now, though, the whole world is struggling. It’s hard not to struggle with at least one thing or other with the state of things right now. It makes one fearful of asking the ages old question, what next? And, it’s been in the midst of this struggle I figured out the answer to this month’s posed question: what are a couple of your secrets your readers would never guess about you?
This struggle to find words right now, the insecurities all writers face at some point, the self-lamentation, the imposter syndrome, all of that. That’s the biggest secret of all. Those are the things we as writers tend to hide away within the deepest part of ourselves, because struggling and being insecure might be seen as the sign of weakness. There’s a need, at least for me, to be as positive as possible, because who wants to hear anything remotely negative, particularly now.
I don’t know many writers, myself included, who let our readers in on that side of us which self-doubts. We don’t post pictures of ourselves frowning at a scene we’re trying to pound out. And we don’t dare express a political or religious view in public. It’s alienating. At least that’s the way of the old-school writers who understand that publishers look at that sort of thing. They need to know if a writer is going to be a scandal problem before they ever even entertain the idea of offering a contract. A writer’s life, at least in the publishing world I was raised in, is for the most part sterile and free of insecurities and doubts and struggles. They aren’t supposed to have polarizing opinions.
I fancy myself an open book for the most part. My readers know quite a lot about me, if they keep up with my blog. I talk about my struggles with being abused, the anxiety disorder that abuse wrought, and the road to recovery. I discuss my life, my real life. They know I’m a military wife of over twenty years and I discuss all the aspects of that with them from the wonderful to the down right devastating. There’s not much about me my readers don’t know, because I feel an honest relationship with them builds trust and trust builds loyalty; loyalty builds a lasting readership. But I must admit, I’m not one to share the insecurities and fears, the struggles to find words on days like today, when the world is in turmoil and the anxieties spur the word machine inside me to churn with no particular direction in mind. It’s by no means a case of writer’s block, because as I’ve said before there are so many aspects to the writing life I don’t believe in true writer’s block. This is more a struggle to find a way to focus all the energies in a positive way and allow that to translate into meaningful ideas and sentences.
And that, my dear insecure friends, is the thing I keep hidden. The fact that I do see and hear the world. I have strong opinions on things, even if I keep them to myself. And I don’t talk about the days I struggle to find focus. Writers are just as human as the next person in this aspect, even if we keep that part of ourselves hidden away in the deepest part of ourselves.
I’m struggling, too, my dear friends and readers. We’re all struggling. I hold fast to the hope, however, that all this weird energy can be harnessed and focused into some meaningful words that might touch someone in a positive way.
Thank you to Pat Garcia, J. Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre for co-hosting this month’s hop, and thank you to our fearless leader, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Hugs to the entire ISWG community and anyone else out there struggling. Readers, please find the entire list of ISWG participants HERE.
Until next time, everyone stay safe and know you are not alone.