Sunday, July 29, 2012
As a person and a writer, I have insecurities frequently. Of course, as we can't help but compare ourselves to others, this is normal. I have doubts about everything from my clothing to my sports abilities, but also with my writing. As I write very frequently, and care about it more than my appearance and sports, this is also where it hits me the hardest.
Part of my insecurities are due to myself; I doubt myself probably more often than I should, and am often critical of my efforts. For example, I completely rejected the first draft of the manuscript that I wrote, as I deemed it not salvageable. Granted, I think that's true, but I also judge myself on the better things that I write as well. However, where it hits me the hardest is when other people judge my writing. I'm all for constructive criticism, but most of the time it doesn't take that form. I publish writing on TeenInk, which -although I really enjoy it- has a rating system. Various people have greatly disliked many things that I've written; they've hated my short stories, nonfiction, poetry, and opinion pieces. Of course, I find it funny that they hate my nonfiction stories, as it's not like I can come up with a better life for myself and still have it be true. This has made me greatly discouraged, to the point where I have stopped getting emails from TeenInk when they do this. Also, it's anonymous, so they bear no responsibility to their ratings whatsoever. I try to get past the negative ratings, though, and it makes it all more worthwhile when someone says they like it. Plus, there are always going to be people like that out there, and, as Anne Frank said, "at heart, people are mostly good."
My tips for facing writing insecurities would be:
-take constructive criticism, if there is any, but with a grain of salt
-don't dwell on it, and there's sure to be someone who does like your writing
-do some other hobbies that you enjoy, to therefore take your mind off of the negativity
-take a moment, before responding to criticism, to remind yourself that they don't need to get bashed to pieces and that they're human too (however much evil delight you would get in angrily retorting is probably short-lived)
-know that at the end of the day, all that really matters is your opinion; if you just love to write, and if it makes you happy, then it doesn't really care what other people say
I hope this helps!*
*Even if this didn't help you, it actually helped cheer me up about my writing insecurities while writing this, which is an added bonus.