So it's no surprise that I am often asked the golden question: Are you published?
And I've felt silly to say my answer has been "No."
And why is that?
When I first started as a little nugget, writing just wasn't a huge deal to me. It was just something that I thought everyone did. I was content with the stories I'd created and while I did hold some amount of pride in my work, I never felt like any of it was ever enough. I fought with these feelings pretty much my whole life - battling against my own goal to be a published writer. To share my stories with people. But there was those underlying feelings of doubt lingering in the back of my mind: You're not good enough.
Despite the praise that I get, the people who actually come to me asking me to read their stuff, or for writing advice (which I'll admit isn't a whole lot compared to what more well-known authors probably get, but the fact remains that people even approach a no-life like myself for help is a flattering if not confusing phenomenon), I've never really had that vote of confidence in myself. I don't even have a huge stack of rejection letters at my desk or a long line of criticism telling me "You suck, never write again!" - the only one that's been holding me back is and always has been myself.
Sometimes the feeling gets so great that, after hours of processing my work, I'm just overwhelmed with the urge to toss all my manuscripts in a bonfire and fanning the flames with the outlines as I watch my potential career flash before my eyes. I put so much of my life into these stories only to frequently revisit this hopelessness that's plagued me all these years.
And it has to stop.
For as scary as it seems, I'm writing this down as a reminder that at the end of the day...
It's more important than I'll ever know. That the biggest danger isn't That One Guy telling me that I can't write, but myself telling me that I can't write that can't get in the way. I just have to keep telling myself that if I ever plan to go anywhere. Otherwise what good is this dream I have if I'm too afraid of my own success and failure?
Today, after spending time fixing up my blogs, setting up my FaceBook page and Twitter account, I am finally going to give them the attention that they deserve. No more throwing away manuscripts because they're Not Good Enough for me. Today it stops.
I am officially moving forward.