I consider myself a writer and a poet. When reading about the "art/craft of writing" from other writers/poets, they will all tell you that you must be a voracious reader. I see one problem, however, with that. When I read I find myself jealous of other writers and how beautifully, creatively, intelligently, seemingly easily, etc, they accomplish their feat. In other words, I begin to compare my writing to theirs and I begin to doubt my own abilities.
I have also read a number of books by famous writers about writing. That creates more of a Doubt Dilemma! A few of such books I have read include:
- "The View From the Cheap Seats" by Neil Gaiman
- "Talking About Detective Fiction" by P.D. James
- "The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club" by Maeve Binchy
- "Zen in the Art of Writing" by Ray Bradbury
- "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King
- ... among others.
Granted I am comparing myself to writers who have been published by legitimate publishing houses and their books sit on shelves at bookstores around the world! I am self-published and have had a number of essays published here and there. One day I want to be signing autographs for you at the local bookstore!
I do think I write well and I do think I "have something to say!" What I do not have is the motivation to sell myself. You will hear this from many artists, "I love doing my art, I do not love having to promote myself and I do not enjoy trying to sell my art."
So my advice to myself is this: Be a voracious reader but do not judge yourself by comparing your writing to that of others. You are you and that is good enough. There is only one of you and that is probably enough. I so enjoy writing that it is the doing of it that counts and hopefully someday I will be published but that is not the point.
Meanwhile, I do have an audience here at my BLOG, I do receive KUDOS and standing ovations at the presentations I give (having spent a lot of time writing and fine-tuning them,) I have had four Guest Columns in The Windy City Times (the LGBTQ Newspaper of the Greater Chicago Area,) and mostly ... I love to write! In fact, I NEED to write almost every day or I feel a withdrawal of sorts.
Here a link to my website where you will find a quick link to various essays of mine that have been published: