Doubtfully Writing

I don’t blog a lot about writing because it seemed so, well, obvious. And there are so many writing blogs, I couldn’t imagine having anything new to say that isn’t all ready being said (blogged). But the fact remains, I am a writer so it’s just bound to come up occasionally.

We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little.

~Anne Lamott

I love Anne Lamott. I mean, love her. On Facebook she invites people to her church. I have thought about going. Not for anything spiritual, just so I could meet her. But I figured she wouldn’t want to sign my book during the service so I haven’t made the drive. Yet.

I think this quote has so much wisdom to it. It is true for humans and I think especially true for fiction writers because our job is to create made up people that seem real. We work hard to learn all we can about the nuances of human behavior so we can translate that to the story.

A good thing.

Which is one reason I think writers are prone to angst.

A bad thing.

Especially when that angst leads to doubts. There seems to be two broad categories of doubts for writers. Doubt of Purpose and Doubt of Ability.

Doubt of Purpose is when you find your fingers in your hair, head on desk wondering what you were ever thinking starting this writing thing to begin with. This is especially rough if your writing career isn’t moving along like you have been told or dreamed. Or, even worse, if you don’t have supportive people. You may have people who say some of these things.

My suggestion to combat this is to create a mission statement. Not a general one-size-fits-all statement like a corporation would but one statement that fits with exactly where you are now. It may not even be a “statement” as much as a few words or an image or a token that reminds you of the answer to “Why do you write?”

Why do I write?

Because I’m not a sheep lice.