I just joined a group called Insecure Writers Support Group. We're supposed to post monthly about writing. I don't write much about writing, in part because I find that loop a little loony-making. Writing about writing aboutwritingaboutwriting. And in part because I find it a vanity exercise that writers seem to think that the entire world is so interested in the life of writers when, in truth, I find it a trope. So many other professions are far more interesting to me.
But I need to talk about insecurity. I'm driven to be honest and writing and parenting and insecurity all play into one another in my daily life.
Lately, I've had parenting moments where I felt like I've finally gotten it right. Where we've finally conquered my yelling problem, their compliance problem, and we're about to skate off into perfect family land. And isn't it lovely there? I can see it out of the corner of my eye.
I'm a successful writer there. I'm giving piano lessons to my seven year old. My five year old is reading. We laugh like mad while skiing on the weekends.
And truly things are good. But insecurity is very real and it crops up on a daily basis for me and I suspect for most everyone.
I had a bad moment the other day with the kids on the way to shuffle kids around so I could go support a rape victim at trial. I felt really bad and confessed my insecurity to my friend who was going with me. I was in the wrong with the kids. Just when I thought I had it all down. Lunches packed. Everyone dressed, teeth brushed, nails clipped, in the car, dinner in a crockpot cooking. I was just about to win the game of life for that day.
But because I was right there with my friend and confessed my screw up, we commiserated and I moved on. When my son was upset about it later in the day, it was easier for me to be the adult and not let guilt and my own feelings run the show. It helped to admit my minor struggle.
And I need to do the same with writing. I need to admit that on a near daily basis, I hide that I'm a writer because my work doesn't pay our bills. I don't proudly announce what I do often because I'm embarassed at my lack of financial success at it to this point.
I'm currently taking a break from my longer writing projects in order to focus on writing related things that seem more likely to bring in actual dollars to our home and which will then finance marketing and advertising that will help my books make money. I'm working on some of the more businessy things like courting reviewers.
None of these are the sexy, splashy, life-of-a-writer things I thought of when I read John Irving and thought if I just wrote a good book, I could running and figure out how to write more books. But they're what I'm doing.
We are scraping by on our bills so that I can keep at this thing. I'm committed. I've gotten good reviews in this week. But I feel insecure in writing sometimes. And if I fess up to that happening, I can be the adult who lets it pass, says it's okay to move on, and gets back to work.