I’d be willing to wager that we all have deep, dark secrets when it comes to our writing. That thing that weighs on our minds now and again, or maybe even constantly.
Is there something you feel guilty about, or ashamed of, in your writing journey? Maybe something like:
- Starting pieces, but never finishing them
- Not reading often enough
- Making your tastes seem more literary than they really are
- Not sharing your work with anyone
- Stealing someone else’s ideas
- Lying about how much experience you have
- Amateurish mistakes you’ve made
- Trashing another writer
- Being terrible at accepting constructive criticism
My Guiltiest Writing Secret
Because I’ll be asking you to dish your own secrets later, I’ll set the example by going first. Here’s the thing I most hate to admit to myself and others:
When I first got back into writing after many years’ hiatus, I tried to write for kids. Somehow, I thought that writing picture books and early chapter books would be easier than writing for adults, and that meant I would get published sooner, with less work involved.
Oh, how I was wrong.
I did enjoy writing for kids, but it wasn’t the type of enjoyment that could last a lifetime. And frankly, the stuff I wrote was probably awful. It took at least a year for me to admit that I was more interested in the idea of being a published author of anything, than doing the work necessary to become the type of writer I was meant to be.
While I feel terribly ashamed of my amateur stupidity at that time, it was a great learning experience. Years later, I know myself much better, and I can see how much more work I have ahead of me.
Nix the Guilt
The thing about writing secrets like the ones I mentioned earlier is that they have the power to do one of two things: hold you back, or push you forward. To nix the guilt and get on with your journey:
- Admit to yourself what the problem is (in the example above, admitting to myself that I was trying to take the ‘easy’ road).
- Identify solutions to the problem (discovering what types of writing were truly my forte).
- Plan how you’ll follow through (in my case, choosing to write, polish and submit stories for a year with the goal of having three stories accepted).
Share Your Own Secrets
Writing is a lonely business, but by sharing your secrets, other writers out there may identify with your struggles and learn to overcome their own.
Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.