(Photo: photo bucket)
There's a moment that I suspect happens in every writer's life, like a patch of light that finally enters your being and you understand your own words in a way you never have before.
When that moment happened for me crawled into that very light and did something I've never done before.
I stood up.
The Moment You Back Yourself
Last week I was re-reading the first couple of paragraphs in my WIP and I found myself doing something I always do. I deleted it. (Don't worry, I have backups)
Computer pushed aside, I went to my books shelf and pulled down all the authors I admired and read their first chapters. Then I berated myself for my own flimsy attempt, for every thinking I could write and finally for daring to breathe in the present of these books. (Tell me I'm not the only one who does this?)
Then it happened.
This little voice, kind of shaking, stood up inside me and spoke. (Go with me here)
"Tab, you aren't ever going to write those chapters or even one like them," it said.
I found myself asking why not. (If you don't talk to yourself then I suggest you get started. All sorts of great things are learnt in conversations with ourselves)
"You're not going to write those chapters, " the voice said, "because you aren't those authors. You weren't those authors then and you aren't those authors now, and I hate to break it to you, but you never will be. You are you. And the kind of first paragraph, first chapter, indeed first book you will write will be one that has never been written before, because YOU are the author. YOU. And you alone."
I thought on that for a long time. Then I agreed with myself. I looked my book squarely in the eye and declare the thing mine. That's right. I owned it. I finally decided to accept that I am a writer whose best is yet to come. Everyday I grow. There is much to be learnt from other authors, but I finally lost the desire to BE another author. I want to be me. I want my words. They are mine and I like em fine.
The expanding confidence in my work has astounded me. There's less second guessing my writing style, my voice and my unique flow of words on a page. In short, I am embracing me and where I am at on this Carnival Ride that we call The Writing Life.
What about you? Do you back your own work?