I admit it: I have issues with my competency as a writer. And I think it is healthy (sometimes).
Getting through the rough patches where we don’t believe in ourselves can be difficult. Just ask some of the people I know. For me, I have to find my own way—whether it takes me a few hours or a few weeks. Eventually, I wipe the dust off and start again. It’s nice to have a rest, even if that rest is in the dark gloomy forest of I’ll Never Be Good Enough.
A recent event triggered this particular feeling in me, and I went home disappointed in myself—despite my small successes. I realized after not thinking about it particularly, that this stemmed from my insatiable desire to want to have experienced everything. And that will never happen. I’ll never be able to experience everything, no matter how hard I try. 12th century China? Um, yeah. Out of the question. So I’ll have to be contented with my imagination.
Another thought passed through my head at this realization: those writers that had made me jealous, perhaps had failed at what they attempted to do: make me experience what they had (I must note, that their words may work expertly on another, and on me not, and vice versa). So perhaps a combination of the two ideas therein allowed me to feel better again.
Of course, from this experience, I will want to grow as a writer. I should always strive to be better and accept how I am at the moment.
List of schools, updated with finished applications:
Bowling Green State University
Colorado State University
California State University Long Beach
California State University San Bernardino
Iowa State University
Ohio State University
University Central Florida
University Notre Dame
University Texas-English Dept
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
University of Montana Western Mich. University
Though I don’t put a whole of stock on man-made dates, they do allow an easy point for some general reflection on the past as well as the future.
This last year, I finished writing a book. I’ve had ample opportunity in the past, but never the skill or wherewithal to finish to my somewhat general satisfaction. I had finished one before, but I didn’t much care for it, and I’ve attempted others only to be disappointed by the lack of plot. Also, I meet a young person and a critique group who reminded me much of myself at that age (as a writer) and found that I’ve changed the way I’ve written enough to allow for longer works. My summarization has cut back significantly enough to let me expand and revel in details and side ventures enough that I don’t run out of things to say on page 50. This is a good thing. Of course, I still like writing short stories better.
This next year will present a lot of challenges to me as a writer. I’m going to go to grad school—just not sure where or for how long, but I know I will get into a school and that I will choose the right one. This alone will offer me information, skill, and guidance that right now I feel I need. As much I as I know, I know less than I would like too. I’ll also be teaching again, working through my manuscript from last year (as it goes through critique groups now, betas, hopefully, later in the year), and creating new stories and new characters, and revisiting old friends for some touch ups. Every day I’m learning something new. And this is good.
Happy writing and revising.