Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In today's Insecure Writer's Support Group post I wonder if anyone even likes alphabet soup?

It's the first Wednesday of July, and that means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

If you like to write, you should keep writing. I think it's better to write garbage than nothing at all. The English alphabet has twenty six letters in it. Working together you sometimes get good things, and you sometimes get bad things. Maybe you get bad things more than good things. Maybe some of the things you write have the potential to embarrass you if they fall into the hands of the wrong audience. We live in a society that loves to attack people for being different. Writing is no exception. We have fat shaming and race shaming and politics shaming and belief shaming and beauty shaming and the list goes on and on. If you publish anything, someone (eventually) will try to break it down. But if no one ever tried to string any of the letters together, we'd never have Game of Thrones. You've heard of the saying "United we stand, divided we fall," right? It applies to letters too. Divided letters are just alphabet soup. Does anyone even like alphabet soup?

I've been insecure about my writing. You can't be a person these days and not be insecure about something. Being insecure about writing is easy. As soon as you take a stance or forge an opinion about anything you've invited someone else to weigh in on it. Don't even get me started on "dating" and the judgments that activity seems to elicit. Getting a bad review on Amazon is much better than the rejection one faces when (for example) one likes another person very much and the feelings just simply aren't reciprocated. I think every person knows what this is like to some extent (unfortunately more some than others).

There were brief spats of time when I refused to show my writing to anyone. I held high standards when I should have relished the fact that I have the ability to write well and consistently. I'm a good writer. I can string letters together to make words and then string words together to make sentences. It's a talent people think that everyone has, until you hire someone to make a website and they do great with the coding but spell things wrong all over the place. That's when you know that not everyone can write. We all have our talents. If you're a writer, even a mediocre one, you are already in possession of an uncommon skill whether or not society actually wants to pay you for it.

And no one is going to judge you if you don't show your writing to anyone. Life, however, is pretty meaningless if you don't take any risks. When we write, we are participating in an activity that is intensely private and self-reflective. It's this one thing that's perhaps the greatest magic of writing. The world drops away, and we become both dreamer and crafter. That's worth something isn't it?

Be kind to yourself and write. You can decide to publish later.

Write always. Write often.


  1. Amen Mike. This is like The Lord's Prayer blog post for writers.

  2. And someone who writes great lyrics but can't play is no musician. A lot of people can't play, just like a lot can't really write. We have a gift. Use it or lose it.

  3. It's too easy to get bogged down by doubts, eh? We have to press forward and create.

  4. It's worth everything!
    The writing is easy, the sharing, a goal, but one of the hardest tests. You're an amazing writer. I hope you continue to share your words!

  5. Nicely said, Michael...

    I really enjoyed your post and couldn't agree more. Hope all is well with you.

  6. Good advice! When I first started writing I wrote very little and was upset when people didn't like what I wrote, but now that I've written a lot I don't really care anymore.

  7. Writing is a vicious circle. You want to write a book, but then you wonder if anyone will want to read it. Then you realize if you don't write that book, you will never know...and that will just nag the hell out of you.

  8. Good advice. And when you do show your writing to someone else, don't be surprised if you get a good reaction.

  9. You are a VERY good writer, Mike my dear, not only of fiction but here on your website, where it's clearly natural for you to let your attractive and kind personality come through.

    Damn, but rejection in any capacity hurts, doesn't it? As for writing--I'm finishing up my current editing and publishing process, but after that I'll enjoy finishing writing a book I started just for the hell of it. It's one of those fun stories I want to see through all the way.

  10. And if you take the risk and put your writing out there, you could get comments that say you are a great writer.

    I found a writing prompt with a word limit of 300-1000 words. I think I can handle that over the weekend. Hopefully :)