Many of my blogging friends have belonged to a group called the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog-hop hosted by Alex Cavanaugh that gives writers a chance to interact with each other, encourage each other, and discuss a question related to writing once a month. I’ve enjoyed their posts over the years, though I’ve never commented or joined the list, until now…because of the name.
I know, a terribly petty reason, but I guess I was trying so hard over the past years to not be insecure about my writing that joining a group that said “I’m insecure” was too difficult. I believe in positive thinking and not mentally “owning” things you want to get rid of, and I was choosing to not be insecure. I was sharing my writing online. I was letting friends and family read it. The group could be helpful, pleasant, and nice, but it wasn’t for me…right?
Well, this year I’ve been rethinking it. I’ve always enjoyed the added zest to blogging in April during the A-Z Challenge, and even though I know I could write my posts ahead of time, I find the “need” to post, to not miss out being part of what the group is doing, an exhilarating thing. The knowledge that people are “expecting” a post is a great energizer, and one I find I need as I’ve been neglecting my blog more and more due to work and life, in general.
So I’ve been rethinking the IWSG, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am insecure…and it’s not such a bad thing to be.
Because “insecurity” means many things. It means that I have doubts, fears, and misgivings. It means being exposed to risk, loss, or danger. To have a lack of assurance or confidence where my own writing is concerned. And here’s why it’s a good thing.
- Better Writing. If I write with the mindset that I don’t know everything, I’ll be more open to my characters as they tell me what they think and want to say (and for all you plotters out there, insecurity can still be a good thing, as it can leave your outlines open to flashes of creativity as you don’t approach things in a “I know every detail, just how this story should be” sort of way). It can help keep you from forcing things to happen because you aren’t so confident of your own judgment that you know exactly how things will play out at every turn.
- Better Editing. If I felt like I knew everything about writing, I wouldn’t be as critical as I might need to be when editing, so I might miss glaring errors. I might overlook spots where things could be improved. I might be impervious to constructive criticism, letting my ideas run away with me. I might write something good, but what if I could’ve written something amazing instead?
- Honesty. To be a writer is to expose yourself to risk, because you are sharing something close to your heart. You’re inviting people you don’t know to come in and meet some of your closest friends, to explore a land you created. What is more risky than that?
So, to all my dear readers, this is why I’m glad to be an insecure writer, and why it might not be a bad thing for you to be one, too.
Copyright 2018 Andrea Lundgren