Today is IWSG Day. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.
I’m so “out of the habit” of blogging that it sure seems to come around fast. I put way too many other things first. Today, I worked on my taxes: listed my professional dues, my expenses and then my income. What an eye-opener.
When my income doesn’t (at least) equal my professional dues, I think there’s a problem. And my expenses doubled in 2015. Why? Because I went crazy-wild purchasing how-to books, taking courses and joining groups that promised to mentor and encourage me. I attended a couple of conferences too; I’d be a groupie for about two cents. Seriously, I have “groupie” in my blood.
While listing my expenses, I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite creative writing teachers, Chuck Taylor, founder of Slough Press and a professor at Texas A&M University. I knew Chuck many years ago and once we had poems published in the same literary journal, Cedar Rock. Anyway, Dr. Charles B. “Chuck” Taylor told me, when I wanted to sign up for yet another one of his classes that I needed to quit taking classes and write. I think I’ve told you that before but it’s worthy of repeating. That’s good advice for all of us.
Well, Chuck … obviously I didn’t listen to you!
Doing my taxes made me analyze my problem and there’s only one answer to what it is. No, it’s not laziness. It’s FEAR. I need those classes and how-to books because … What if I can’t write? Well, deep down, I know I can but what if I can’t write well enough?
There’s the rub. What’s well enough?
With publishing the way it is–open to everyone now–writing is so subjective. But isn’t that a good thing? Yes, it is, and I recognize I can write better than some and not as well as others, but I don’t want to look like an idiot!
The lesson I learned while looking at my pages of expenses is that I have more confidence in writing for FREE—that way, if you don’t like it, think it’s crummy, you really won’t feel cheated since you didn’t have to pay.
Stupid, huh? I have two published books, written for magazines and newspapers for about 40 years, judged writing contests, owned a literary magazine, mentored and coached others and here I am acting like a baby. I really think it’s all those “angry voices” out there scaring me. Maybe I just need therapy!
Last year, I told hubby I wasn’t going to darken the doors of our CPA friend until I wasn’t embarrassed to face him. Sorry, Doug, won’t be seeing you this year!
I’m making a promise to myself: this is my last year to write for FREE. (Have to fulfill obligations.) I know we all like that word, who doesn’t enjoy FREE things, but if we don’t value ourselves and our talents, who’s gonna? Right? Nothing really puts me in my place like figuring my taxes.
Do you ever doubt you’re good enough, listen to the voice of defeat ringing in your ears? Or do you just forge ahead whistling your happy tune? Share with us!