Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green Suede Shoes: An Insecure Writers Support Group Post

I have a pair of knee high boots. They are green, suede, I don't wear them all that often, because they are not that comfortable, and they are falling apart. The oddest thing is that the right boot is ALWAYS harder to get on then the left boot. Its obnoxious. its weird. I think it's because the right boot is made of slightly thicker swede than the left boot. I ripped the tongue on the left boot shortly after getting them. The right boot keeps my legs a little warmer, and it doesn't slouch quite as much.

They are the same boots they came in the same box, and I've had them both the same amount of time. I've never worn one without the other, although I wouldn't put that much past me. They are just different.

When I was a kid, I think I was around nine or ten, I was taking horse back riding lessons at this barn with woman named Ms Darby. She was a great teacher, she challenged me all the time, she gave me riding gear when we couldn't afford the real stuff. There was another girl in my class, she was a better rider than I was. Her parents bought her a pony, and she had all the right equipment. I envied the hell out of her. Then one day, we were doing some basic jumps. I was on the ugliest horse in the world, named Honey, and she was on her pony, and something happened. Her pony spooked and she fell, she wasn't hurt but she was scared. She was crying, and Ms Darby had to stop the lesson and take her up to the barn. She never came back. I couldn't understand it. Here was this girl who was so much better than I was, who was willing to throw it away because she hit the ground once.

When I grew up and started teaching horse back riding lessons, parents needed a to sign a special waver to get their kid in my class. I could guarantee they would advance. I would also guarantee they would fall off at least once. There were two lessons I took from the girl in my class ( I dont remember her name), one if you've never fallen off you've never pushed yourself hard enough, and two, if you've never hit the ground to see if you will get up again, you dont know if you will.

Writers deal with a-lot of different types of rejection. There is the social sort that everyone else deals with, and then there are the other kinds. The is this good enough sort you ask yourself. The kind that comes from friends when you tell them you want to be a writer, or you are a writer, and they think you will be rich, or are crazy, or will be poor. The kind you ask yourself when you are feeling seven kinds of overwhelmed and wonder why on earth you want to do this. The kind from agents, the kind from editors the kind from other writers. The kind when someone tells you "writing isnt hard/work/creative, cause anyone can do it"

The worst part of all of it is that it's not something that you (for the most part) put some sort of half assed effort into. Writing is hard work, mayhaps not the physical kind, but still, hard work none the less. The search for the perfect word, turning creativity into words and putting them on the page.

Someone on another blog (and I WISH I could remember who) asked the question, does creativity directly link to insecurity, and I do not think it does. I do think however, that because creative people, who need/want to share their creativity face a certain amount of rejection, and that rejection causes anxiety which leads to insecurity. But just like in horse back riding you have to get back up and try again, and you've never pushed yourself until you've hit the ground.

And just like boots, no two things are exactly the same. I might have stretched it a bit to make those two metaphors work. But, I signed up for the "Insecure Writers Support Group" with Alex J. Cavanaugh. And today was the day to talk about insecurity.

p.s. GO check out other blogs on here. Its an order.

How do you deal with insecurity? What kind's of insecurity do you face?

And I will end with a "Sara and Bobby" just to lighten things up.

Sara and Bobby on Judaism:

Bobby: I made up a new word!
Sara: uh huh
Bobby: Jewnicorn! Though, I wonder what that would be.
Sara: A kosher unicorn. A unicorn without cloven hoofs.


  1. If there is a such thing as a bell curve for anxiety in the population, I think creative people as a group would be just a bit further towards... wait, which direction would people with more anxiety go?

    Well, whatever direction that is, that's where I think they'd end up on the graph, just a bit. I have nothing to back that up at all. I just believe it to be true.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. That Jewnicorn sounds great.

  2. A good point, Sara. Maybe that goes with the whole darkest before the dawn thing? How can you know what success feels like, if you don't know what failing feels like too.

    I feel the best way to deal with insecurity is to talk to other people about whatever you're insecure about. A lot of times, they can help you pinpoint a specific problem and make it seem less overwhelming.

  3. Rusty: Thanks for stopping over here too! And I don't think I understand bell curves either, but I am right there with you in thinking they have a bit more anxiety. Maybe its the active imagination.

    Jess: Agreed. I am going to have to write a post on writer friends/writers groups sometime soon...Bobby did one so I need to too!