It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it’s Insecure Writers Support Group day, where we writers write about those things which undermine our confidence as writers.
This month we’re asked to write about how we celebrate when we achieve a writing goal or finish a story. This is a difficult one for we novelists. It’s not unusual for a novel to take ten years to write (will be much longer in my case). I have completed novels before, a long time ago, but I was writing them in my own time and in my own way and, although I went through the motions of submitting them to publishers, I didn’t realistically expect anyone else to read them. I’m very self-conscious about my writing. The idea of publicising a book I’ve written is just mind-bogglingly appalling.
Last January, at the Association of Christian Writers retreat, we were each of us asked to talk about our wip. I was determined to keep it cool, along the lines of ‘Nothing much’, but, maybe, I said too little because, when somebody asked me a question, something burst inside me. Annie Try, our wonderful chair, had to stop me speaking, because otherwise everybody would’ve missed their coffee break. I followed them to the coffee servery, shaking. I felt like I’d been stripped naked amongst them. But, afterwards, several people came up to me and said they would be happy to do a preliminary read. I haven’t given it to any of them yet, because the novel’s still not finished, but I’m very grateful for all the offers. It’s taken me some time to realise that being able to take myself out of my writing closet and talk about my novel has been my greatest success so far.