Writers are surely an insecure breed, in constant need of reassurance.
For a start, we have proclaimed ourselves writers. That epithet carries an unspoken weight beyond the obvious definition of she who writes. We’ve elevated ourselves to the same category as each reader’s favourite author. We showcase the extent of our imaginative skills to a world that both craves and then instantly discards a progression of creative ideas. We’re called on to sound different, individual, truthful – whatever that means. Our writing voice has to be heard in a chorus of thousands. Millions, even, in a world that’s now digital and instantly accessible.
Writing constantly requires us to be brave. The themes we choose reveals something intimate to the world at large. We are like actors, using our own life experiences to flesh out the bones of our words, mixing the personal with the intellectually absurd and asking for judgement. It’s hard to truly separate the two when we get it. And if we ask, or even if we don’t, it comes from every well-wisher, critic and troll; bluntly, subjectively and indifferently and if we’re lucky, constructively too. Good feedback may assuage our doubts, but it doesn’t help us improve.
We want validation, but we really need honesty.