A life of Artistic Pursuit is always a roller coaster. Regardless of which branch of the arts it is -- writing, music, art, theatre -- it's hard to avoid the ups-and-downs of "Oh, fiddle-poo. I'm just not GOOD ENOUGH."
And then, for a little while, we might fear that's WE'LL NEVER BE.
Good enough, that is.
I majored in piano. (Well, Music Education, but my piano was the apex of those studies.) Worked my fingers raw. Secured a Secret Key to the music building so I could practice after it had been locked for the night -- and before the security guy opened it in the early mornings.
I was good. Won scholarships. Performed recitals. Was paid to accompany the local Chorale. All that stuff.
But I wasn't phenomenal. And I knew it.
I never aspired to be a concert pianist, though. Knew, in the back of my college-twit brain, that I wouldn't live that life -- didn't want to live it.
So my bouts of WOE-IS-ME-I-REALLY-SUCK-COMPARED-TO-OTHER-PIANISTS weren't earth-rending.
Fast-forward to Authoress-as-writer. Things are VERY DIFFERENT when you're pursuing something that really matters. The downs can be debilitating.
They crop up at funny, unexpected moments. Like, I read the blurb on the back of Myra McEntire's HOURGLASS, which includes the phrase "mind-bending plot". And immediately thought, "Wow. I COULD NEVER WRITE A MIND-BENDING PLOT."
Are you with me?
It's like we're wired to self-destruct. And every time it happens, we HAVE to rebuke those self-defeating thoughts and JUST GET ON WITH IT.
The waters of Queryland are especially dangerous. All those rejections from agents can start to whittle away at your self-confidence until you question EVERYTHING. Like, why am I doing this to myself in the first place? If I can't even get an agent, how will I ever get published?
Followed by teeth-gnashing and potential chocolate over-consumption.
Here's the thing: If you're reading this blog...if you're working HARD and writing A LOT and getting GOOD, CONSISTENT CRITIQUE and are LEARNING FROM THIS CRITIQUE, then you are not incompetent.
Even if, some days, you fear that you are.
Still with me?
Good. I want you to go read this POST BY BETH REVIS.
Because it's excellent. And you need to hear it.