Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why am I still so insecure?

Here we go with another first Wednesday of the month. Can you believe it’s April already? I can’t. Where is the time going?

Anyway…since everyone else in the writing community is off A to Zing, I don’t expect much traffic today so I’m gonna rant a little. My rant is NOT particular to writing but to insecurity in general.

What I can’t understand is why an intelligent, basically mature person, who is basically pretty comfortable in their own skin, is still so insecure in some areas of their life. Yeah, that would be me.

I’ve overcome the, ‘do these jeans make me look fat?’ because I already know what makes me look fat, and I run in the opposite direction, no matter what fashion might dictate. I’m not concerned about hanging with the ‘right’ crowd, but would rather be with the crowd that I’m comfortable with, people who share some of my interests and ideals, but yet present new enough ideas that I can learn from them. I read and listen to all of the advice about writing, working and living in general, but at the same time I know that everyone else is searching for the answer just as I am. I know where to look for truth and basically make up my own mind about it. I’m pretty good at spotting the frauds, you know the people who tear everything down because they are so unhappy with themselves. I know certain people, who if they say nothing about a particular accomplishment of mine, confirm to me that they think said accomplishment was really very special. I’ve also come to recognize those who have to nitpick for the tiniest little error, just so that you can’t be right or have done something praiseworthy.

I’ve been put down because of my sex, occupation, choices, religious beliefs, careers, and friends, and I’ve managed to shrug it off. I’ve endured insults to my intelligence, race, and background. I’ve listened to all the ‘your momma’ (more likely in my case daddy) jokes, judging me by the actions of my family and known that although it hurts, I am not responsible for anyone’s actions but my own. I’ve lived many different places and had to adapt to different cultures and customs and been made fun of, because I didn’t understand the world I was living in.

All of this that seems easy to take in stride and yet I’m insecure. I tinker with things like my writing over and over always thinking it isn’t good enough. Always wanting to entertain, educated and help others endure life. I can sink into the darkest hole and imagine all sorts of terrible things about myself, over little incidences that I would make a thousand excuses for in the case of someone else.

So, you tell me, what is it that makes me so hard on myself? Is it because I strive for a perfection that I’ll never really achieve in this lifetime or is it simply that I want to be liked? Either way it makes me feel kind of pathetic. See, there I’m doing it again.

Most if not all of these insecurities are not something I like to talk about. In actuality talking about myself is not something I really like to do unless I can hide behind a story about someone else who impacted my life. Stepping out on a limb today, most likely because I don’t expect much traffic.

If you want to know more about the IWSG click on that title and see where it takes you. Hopefully you will read some of the other posts and be more encouraged that you will have been here today. Oh, and thank  Alex J Cavanaugh, as he is the inspiration behind this group.


  1. We are always our own worst critics. I am also a perfectionist, and it's the little mistakes that drive me crazy.
    Writing is such an extension of us, it's as if it is us. Maybe that's part of what bothers you.
    I think you write beautifully here and I imagine your stories are just as good!

  2. I hear you on this post- I have to say I really love it when you open up like this! It's hard to put yourself out there but I think when someone does, it improves their writing. The honesty and truth rings out loud and clear behind your words.

    And I don't understand how I can be so absolutely forgiving of others, (and man, some people have done super jacked up stuff to me) yet, I can not forgive myself for making a few stupid mistakes. Not sure what drives me to be so hard on myself either but we certainly are two peas in a pod when it comes to that.

    You're a wonderful writer and friend. Keep your head up and keep on doing what your doing. The work you are sending me has been top notch. I know this is easy for me to say, but try not to be so hard on yourself. xo

  3. I'm betting that you really want to write well-that it's horribly important to you. Maybe that's why you're being so hard on yourself. But agree with the the others, your posts would suggest that your writing isn't as awful as you might think :)
    As for the insecurities, I think that's human. Even horribly self-assured people have their insecurities-they just don't admit it ;)

  4. I think you're talking about an essential part of the writer. I seriously doubt there is one who doesn't feel like you explain here today. Whenever I express a certain insecurity without giving a solution to it, it sounds to me like just plain whining and I hate to sound like whining. I know I'm severe to myself and I know I'm perfectionist. Right now I'm struggling for balance with that side of me.
    Thanks for visiting the Dragon Cave and be very welcome! :D

  5. How funny! Seems like I caught myself doing this very thing just last week. You'd think that being grandmothers would help with that. But only to a degree, I guess. We're still human.

  6. I too can relate to everything your wrote. I hate talking about myself too. Yet I write in first-person. Go figure. Were we not sensitive souls, we wouldn't write or we wouldn't write anything worth reading.

    PS I don't think it posted to everyone's blogroll, but I've posted the award acceptance, offensive interview style. =)


  7. I think it's writing itself... It's basically a solo job and can be intensely personal. Then we're supposed to let other people read and *gulp* judge it after we've sweat blood onto the page, and worn our fingers to the bone. It's intimidating to the sensitive souls we are. :)

  8. Yeah I think we all can relate to the writing on your wall, in one way or another at our bay. But for me I don't give a crap what most people say. That helps get through, but we still rag on ourselves at each zoo. I really hate those idiots who rate you bad because they want to make your book look bad compared to theirs. That isn't so much an insecurity but a want to whack them upside the head.

  9. I think humans are hard-wired to be hard on themselves. Like you I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but now I've learned to give myself a break now and then. I try to focus on the good things instead of all the things that drives me nuts :)

  10. I think it's along the lines of the fact you're an adult, you can defend yourself, you're comfortable in your own skin. BUT your novels are just children, they can't stand up for themselves, they're not streetwise, so you tinker with them to give them the best possible chance.

    It's like a mum sending their kid out to play alone for the first time - reminding them to look both ways at the kerb, not talk to strangers etc. Eventually you realise your still giving that advice to a 13 year old, and they don't need it anymore.

    If that makes any sense at all!

  11. Just from the mention of what doesn't bother you, I can tell you're more secure than I am. So congrats on that! But I think being insecure in writing might be okay. I definitely am, and I hate it. I'm harsher on myself than my CPs will ever be, but I'm beginning to think that's okay. By never feeling like my writing is *there* I'm constantly striving to improve. And that's the journey. Maybe the journey is worth it even if I don't find the sweet spot at the end.

  12. The writing in your post is very fluent and cohesive. I would imagine it's what you love to do and when we love writing we take it to heart when others will read it and perhaps criticize it. It's part of who you are.
    I've said before I consider my novels and pieces of writing my "babies" and when someone else gets close to 'them' I want to ensure I present 'them' as well as I can - after all. They're part of me.
    Thank you for sharing.

  13. It took my doctor to tell me I was a perfectionist, and that was causing some of the angst. . .Also interesting how fast hubs agreed. I hadn't seen myself that way.

    Just dropping by, adding a little traffic here and there.

  14. This post hits home today. Therefore, it's truly meant to be, so I might feel "normal" in my own insecurities. In fact, this past weekend I had a little meltdown about it and was disecting the issue just as you are here. I think as a writer we all sort of strive for acceptance and affirmation of some sort. My first book was just published (36 Sense) and honestly, if I hadn't signed a contract, I probably would've let my insecurities get the better of me and not published it. When we write we expose our heart and soul where most ppl would just bottle those things away, but not us. NOPE we write, take chances, open ourselves up to be judged about our most intimate thoughts, and feelings. I'm happy I opened this up and read it today when I needed it! Thank you for sharing your heart. Jo

  15. I have never met a writer that WASN'T a perfectionist, so we're all in the same boat there.

    I think a lot has to do with natural temperament. I'm a born risk taker, and my occupation reflects that. Every day, I get rejected by clients.

    12 years of querying and getting lots of rejection has also thickened my skin.

    Easier said than done, but many times, the only way to over come the fear is to fail and keep failing. You sort of get used to it. And when you have a win, it takes you by surprise. Desensitization can be your friend.

  16. I think that we're all insecure about something. It's just human nature. I'm not so sure this is a bad thing. Insecurity makes us humble. It motivates us to grow and better ourselves. I also believe it helps us pick up on others' insecurities so that we can uplift them when needed. I really enjoyed the authenticity of this post.

  17. Alex - Thank you.

    Jaybird - So, that's why I like you.

    T - Thanks, it is important to me.

    Al - That's encouraging. Glad I got to know you a little bit better.

    Donna - Sisters? Seems you can never outgrow it.

    Robyn - I also write best in first person. It is a little strange for someone who isn't all about being up close and personal. I saw the interview. I knew you would be great at this.

    Bish - Intensely personal is putting it mildly. Sometimes I'm far too sensitive of a soul.

    Pat - I too have no patience for the guy who will tear me down,
    Only to have himself look like a big man in town.

    Nutshell - So many of you have mentioned being a perfectionist. Well, you wouldn't really think that about me if you only read my blog, but this is one of the few places where I'm all too human.

    Annalisa - It makes perfect sense. Now, if I can only let them grow up and stand on their own.

    Beth - Definitely some good advice. Thanks.

    Marta - How right you are. I don't think I was even this protective of my children.

    D. G. - Yeah, I hear ya. I don't think of myself as a perfectionist at all, but then there are some places...

    Jo - I'm happy you opened this up also and I SINCERELY thank yo for sharing your comment with me.

    Jay - I keep thinking that my skin is finally getting thicker, only to be blindsided by some stupid failing.

    Jamie - Thank you. I needed to hear that, every single word.

  18. yep. I know exactly how you feel. Not every day. Cuz some days I can be quite positive about myself but other days...other days I am my own worst enemy. You'd think it would get easier as we get older.

  19. Hi! I forgot the IWSG today because I'm doing the A-Z but I read your post and can relate to it so well. Our insecurity comes from our need to write. Good writers constantly have fears. Rejections, bad reviews are awful for our self-esteem because we're only human. I'm sending you a virtual hug because I know you're good at everything you do.
    I'm a Brit but I live in Portugal and I get my fair share of disparaging remarks (I'm a "bife", "she won't understand because she's foreign" - that type of thing).

    Another hug!

  20. Striving to be liked is its own pursuit of perfection, one that also can never be achieved. Sometimes we try to be everything to everybody...always aiming to please...and in the process we lose our sense of self. This post is proof positive that your sense of self is intact! :)