The writing community has this weird little thought process that goes like this: “If you think your writing is good, that means that you just don’t understand how bad it is.” The implication is that if you like your writing, your writing must suck.
Guess what, world? I love my writing–and I don’t think it sucks at all.
I love my dialogue; dialogue is a specialty of mine. I think my rhythms are just right, and I do a great job of phrasing speech in a realistic way while still imparting important information.
My metaphors are slam on, as are my themes. I can take one and weave it through the entire book so that when I read back, it feels so natural, so obvious, yet just subtle enough.
I think I’m fantastic at slipping in parallel plots that echo my themes everywhere. The subplots entwine and merge and separate, but always engage each other. I love my subplots.
And have I mentioned my characters? Or my action scenes? How about my scene-ending lines?
This is the part of the post where I’m supposed to say, well, gosh, I’m not perfect. I write some stuff really poorly. Some of my stuff is not great at all. I’m so humble as a writer!
You guessed it, I’m not going to. I refuse. Maybe I’m not perfect at a few things, so what? I’m working on it. And what I do well, I think I do very well indeed. I love what I write, and I believe that other people will love reading it.
In fact, I have a problem with the word humble, which means, “
The other meaning of humble, “
If I don’t believe I’m a good writer, who the heck will?
Nobody, that’s who. My life isn’t a particularly silly plot where the heroine doesn’t believe in herself but everyone is constantly assuring her she’s amazing. My life is real life. If I repeat that I’m bad enough times, you might just start believing it, so I’d better let you know the truth right now so you can get used to it.
Ah, does this make me arrogant? Too proud? Immodest?
Or does it make me perfectly normal?
Do we expect someone who prepares a feast to say, “Well, it’s okay, but not compared to the rest of the world,” or do we let them say, “Eat eat eat!” Should those who make spreadsheets proclaim, “Yes, I can make a nice spreadsheet–but it’s hardly adequate?”
Expecting people to make less of their own work seems like a cruel exercise, and telling them that thinking they’re good means they’re bad is a logical fallacy. I won’t participate in it, won’t diss my hard work. And I hope you won’t put down yours either.
Work hard, keep learning, keep growing, and keep your chin up. If your writing makes you feel the world is a big place, that doesn’t mean you’re insignificant. If the words of those before you cause you to rethink your own, there’s no shame in learning. Heaven knows we all have our moments of doubt. Toot your own horn just to see what noise it makes.
So, fellow writers and non-writers alike, what’s something you’re good at? What do you do best of all? Your cliff-hangers, your romantic leads, your tense stand-offs? Soaring similes? Perfect punctuation? Tell me. Tell the world!
Today, let’s be proud of ourselves together.
[Header picture courtesy of xkcd.com.]