Why Being Insecure Can Ruin Your Writing

By on March 12, 2019
Why Being Insecure Can Ruin Your Writing - Writer's Life.org

All writers go through times of insecurity, of wondering whether or not they are ‘good enough,’ or of thinking that their writing just isn’t going as well as they want it to, no matter how hard they try. We all have days where we think ‘what is the point?’ Where we get frustrated and consider giving up altogether.

While it’s OK and normal for this to happen occasionally, if we let our insecurities take over, however, this can quickly become very destructive and can have a very negative impact on our writing as a result.

Here are some ways in which being insecure can damage your writing career.

You don’t trust your reader.

When you are feeling uncertain about your writing, you are more likely to over explain. It’s your way of justifying what’s happening in your book. You begin to doubt that your reader will fully understand, you worry that if you don’t explain such and such in painstaking detail, they will miss the point. If you begin to lose faith in your reader you run the risk of including lots of passages of unnecessary exposition. This can mean that your writing becomes poorer. You may begin to interject as the author into your work. If you disrupt the flow, jerking the reader out of the fictional world you have created, you'll make it hard for them to immerse themselves in your story.

You overstate everything

Overwriting, being too dramatic, and writing in a way that screams for attention - these are all possibilities that are more likely to occur when you are feeling insecure about your work. Examples of doing this might be overuse of metaphor or inserting similes into every other sentence. You might think to do so makes your writing more smart, more powerful, but in fact, makes for pretty tough going for the reader who has to plow through this ‘look at me’ style to find out what’s going on. The reader wants to feel as though they are part of the story, that they are there. They don’t care how smart you are, and they don’t care about the words you use. It shouldn’t be something that they notice or think about. Using advanced writing techniques over and over won’t demonstrate how clever you are, rather that you don’t know how to write a good story. Instead, your readers want clarity and simplicity, and while arresting imagery has its place, if you make your writing too fluffy because you are feeling insecure, this will do more harm than good.

You become too attached

Being insecure about your writing can also make you overly protective of it. You either refuse to share it with anyone, or you cannot take constructive criticism. You become too precious, too emotional to see where you could change your writing for the better. Having confidence in your book is one thing, but the ability to take feedback and the willingness to share it with others is what will make it great. If you refuse to, it becomes harder to improve.

Writing insecurities are unavoidable at times, but recognizing when you are feeling like this, and knowing how to tackle it, so it doesn’t damage your writing is critical.

What kinds of things do you do when feeling insecure about your writing? Share them with us here!

bethany cadman

Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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