IWSG July: What Do Others Think of My Writing?

Today's post is for the Insecure Writers' Support Group. Check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog for more information.


The more I consider my insecurities, the more I am convinced they all stem from being concerned with what others think of me. (Isn't that what an insecurity is anyways?)

As an introvert, I rarely confide in others about personal things. Writing, as most of us writers know, is probably as personal as one could get. As a writer we fear what others think of us and our writing.

Like most people, I want to be admired (well, maybe "admired" is too strong a word, but at least have my craft appreciated). Because my writing matters greatly to me, I approach it with a greater desire to have my writing admired than any of my other talents.

Of course, this comes with a myriad of challenges. I feel apprehensive about sharing my writing because I'm too worried about what other people will think of it. It's not because I think I'm not good enough. Although there's much I have left to learn, I know I'm better than some writers out there, and worse than others. No, I'm fearful of how it might change a friend's perception of me. 

Some of my friends know that I write. Others don't. Most of my friends haven't read a word I've written. Many strangers have.

Is this wrong? Should I be concerned with what others think? Should I ignore their thoughts of me?

To some extent, I think fear of others' opinions is a good thing. It keeps me from being rude or from acting callously. It makes me strive to become a better writer. But it can easily become crippling. If I gave in to this fear, I would never share my writing with anyone. If I become too afraid to share my writing, then what do I gain from my writing? 

I love writing, and I do it without the expectation of getting paid. Yes, that would be great if I were, and that's my current goal, but right now I'm focused on honing my craft. Because I'm a perfectionist, I want to make sure that when I do get published, I won't be absolutely horrified by my first novel. I think a little bit of time spent honing my craft now and gaining confidence through critique groups will pay off in obvious ways for the future.

How about you, fellow writers? What's your insecurity this month?