This month's post is my submission for the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, for the category "Writing".
You know, I've been working on this insecurity for a while now, this idea that there are no set "rules" for how to be a writer. You just...write. But that doesn't mean you write every day, always, although maybe you do...It means just what it says: You just write. It doesn't mean that you have books published, or an agent, or that you're in the process of querying everyone in the publishing industry. You just write.
So much of our insecure writers’ lives are spent seeking validation from other people, people we deem to know more about the business of writing than we do. We give them the power to tell us whether our ideas are any good, whether our plots are properly executed, whether we’re allowed to take up space at the next writer’s conference if we don’t know what a query is…when really, what we want them to do is tell us that we belong to this magical group: Writers! And, sadly, there will always be someone who wants to keep other people out, because they’re just as insecure as we are that there won’t be room for them in that group if they let us in.
The truth is, though, that we are the ones with the power to tell our stories. We decide what is good. And by the very act of writing we declare to the world that we belong.
Do you have an outline? Just write. Do you have a first draft? Just write. Do you have five published novels and a contract on a new series? Just write. Do you have the tiniest baby of an idea percolating in your mind? Just write! Write it down. Then guess what? You're a writer!
Elisabeth Kauffman is a freelance editor of fiction and you can find her on the web at www.writingrefinery.com.
(I give the IWSG Anthology permission to reprint this blog post for their publication "The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond)