It's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for The Insecure Writers! For those who don't remember, it's an online group created by Alex J. Cavanaugh for writers. You, too, can join us anytime!
Hello ISWG-ers! I'm sorry I missed you last time. Don't worry, I've saved up my anxieties, and to make up for it, I am going to be extra insecure for you this month. Isn't that exciting??
Truthfully, I hesitated about posting this today. Mostly, it felt so new that I wasn't sure I was ready to share it with all the Internets. Then I remembered that I really only know a few people online, and felt better about it!
So, here's the deal: I'm taking a Grub Street class on writing...non-fiction.
Yes, that's right: I'm trying to learn how write about real events and people. I'm sure all you non-fiction writers out there are shrugging, wondering what the big deal is, but trust me: when you're used to making up an entire world of people, it feels very naked and scary to suddenly just talk about yourself. I can't hide behind my characters or my plot, or, to be a little fairer in how I present this, express myself via a situation that I myself have created. Instead, I have only me: my thoughts, my experiences. Where do I start? What story do I even tell?
Then, too, there's the sheer terror of being a beginner. I hate being a beginner. I'm so much happier being the comfortable expert. As a beginner, I fumble and make mistakes and do stupid things, and then I have to learn from all of that and forgive myself for it and really, it's exhausting.
And finally...I'm taking this class, not for fun, but because I'm hoping it will help me on my road to publication. I need some writing credits, friends, and you only get those by writing things and submitting them. Funny how that works, huh? I thought for a while that I would write and submit short stories...but they don't come naturally to me. First of all, as you know, I have a brevity problem. Second, when I create fiction, my mind naturally bends towards intricate ideas that require a longer format. This isn't to say that I can't write short stories, just that I don't have a natural bend towards them.
If I had tons of free time, I'd learn how to write them, anyway. But given the constraints most of us have, of day job plus family plus friends plus social media plus writing a novel, I have very little time. So I figured I should try for something that seems to come more naturally to me: and hence the reason I'm taking a class on writing personal essays.
So there you go, a nice insecure package wrapped up in an anxious bow. Yep, that's the kind of gift I give on this blog.
What about you? Are you trying something new, and feeling insecure about it?