No matter how many books I read on writing, I keep seeing the same hint. Journal, or free-writing is the pathway to greatness. But due to my own artistic expectations, sometimes I don't feel the greatness. That is when things like doubt, boredom, the fly on the wall, or your kid in the next room seem to be louder than ever before, demanding my attention and calling me. There are days that I would swear that those feelings of doubt and insecurity are sticky out their tongue at me.
These spiral notebooks have filled Goldberg's attic or storage collecting dust over the years. As for me, I'm a sucker for journals. I have to buy a notebook that looks pretty. If it doesn't, then it is a spiral that makes me laugh at myself. I'm a strong believer in not taking yourself too seriously. But still, my process is very similar.
Goldberg's friend took the time to read some of her musings. Instead of being bashed for her insecurities, her friend instead said it gave her hope. She assured Goldberg that if all that junk was going on in her head, there was hope for her.
That got me to thinking, and I wrote a response to it that I'd like to share with all of you. Instead of hope, it reminded me that I'm a fraud. She wrote more bad stuff than good stuff, which means probably I do that too. What is worse, is sometimes you're on a roll with nothing but junk pouring out. How do you keep a trend like that from setting in?
As a response, I decided to just write and not analyze it. The hard thing about going to college, and any other kind of deadline is sometimes you have nothing but junk pouring out. You feel like a fraud. You are writing junk, and you know it's junk. Your professors or your editors know it's junk. Therefore, your readers know it is junk. In the case of college, you get graded like it's junk. Writing can be hard work, because it's everything you are, and embodies everything you aren't too.
Have you ever had this happen? How did you overcome it? Let's be honest, even if you're brilliant, your work is going to have a bad day once and a while. If you didn't overcome it initially, can you look back now and find some lesson you learned from it? Please share it with us. Join the conversation.
Note: This is a prequel to my new column Monday Morning Book Club, that kicks off Monday, May 6, 2013. Check out my blog to learn more.
Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor, and poet living in Anderson, South Carolina. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell their many stories. To read more of Laurie's stories visit her Monday Morning Book Club column dedicated to writers everywhere, or her Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the art of Poetry at: http://1writerlaurieepps.blogspot.com