As a writer, I’ve always sort of felt like I don’t exactly … belong.
I follow a few Facebook pages and groups and visit the NaNoWriMo forums every now and then. I read your comments. I see people asking about how to overcome writer’s block, what to do when you ‘can’t write,” how to handle feeling like you want to stop writing something and never go back to it.
I … don’t know what any of that feels like.
I don’t know what it’s like to have an idea but not know how to start writing it.
I don’t get a few pages into something and stop because I don’t know where to go next.
When I’m struggling to write something, I don’t just quit.
All these things — and more — have made it very hard for me to not only relate to other writers, but create relatable content meant to help them out. Yes, it means I can come at writing from a “no-nonsense,” “this-is-how-to-overcome-your-woes” approach. It’s refreshing. Judging by your comments, it helps a lot of people put things into perspective.
But it’s the reason I struggle so intensely with impostor syndrome. The reason I often doubt my ability to act as a credible, reliable resource for aspiring writers.
Am I really a writer, if I don’t “get” writer’s block?
Am I a real writer, if writing comes easily to me most days? If I know how to put an idea into words without spending months planning out every small detail first? If starting to write something is actually the easiest part of the process for me?
Yes. Yes, I am a “real” writer. Because no two writers face the same struggles. No two writers are exactly alike. That’s why giving writing advice is so hard. Half the time, I don’t know what other writers are dealing with because my struggles seem so odd in comparison.
Maybe that’s just what being a creator means. Accepting that not everyone will “be like you.”
Maybe it’s OK that my biggest roadblock is that I write too much and wear out my brain too often.
Maybe it’s normal that I have so many ideas on a daily basis I’ll never be able to write them all.
Maybe I’m not alone.
I’m not perfect. Understand that. Even though I don’t deal with the same issues most writers seem to, I also know what it feels like to be absolutely terrible at time management. To want to quit writing something in favor of a shinier object. To feel discouraged when my hard work goes unnoticed.
We all face different trials when we decide to take on this whole “writing thing.” But do you know what? That’s why I started this blog in the first place. To remind all the struggling writers out there that it’s OK to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing half the time. To let you know that being a writer isn’t always the best, but it is always, always worth it.
You aren’t alone. I’m not. None of us are.
What are you struggling with the most? Does it feel like no one else is facing the same roadblocks you are? Let me know how I can help.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.