I used to be a good writer.
At least, I thought I was a good writer. For years I felt confident in my ability to write beautiful and inspiring words. My talent was unquestionable…to me. I knew that the stories in my head were awesome and should be given to the world so that everyone could share in my undeniable awesomeness.
How cocky is the artist who creates in a vacuum.
The stories in my head have been stuck there…kind of. I have half written pieces of unfinished novels stacked to the ceiling. All of the words seem to end somewhere in the middle of my train of thought.
Where are my endings? Have I been cocky for naught? Am I as good as I think?
What good is an author who never finishes a book?
Recently, I’ve become the student of a writing coach. She is amazing. Her name is Shane. I’ll write more about her later.
When we first met, I gave her a stack of my half written ideas to read. She took a cursory glance at the one on top, told me it was trash and refused to read any more.
Needless to say I was pissed.
Not only was I pissed but I totally shut down and refused to listen to her for about a day. In the immortal words of Erykah Badu, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.”
Well, we eventually talked and she asked me to show her my favorite story. So, I dug up the sci-fi idea I’d outlined a few years ago but abandoned. Shane told me to read to her the first chapter. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was for me to read the words. If I couldn’t read it aloud to one person, how could I expect to read it to an audience or even have others read it to me? With her guidance, I’ve been able to rework the story. It’s shaping itself into a story that I can be proud to write and the ending is already coming into view.
So, do I think I’m a good writer? Yes. I just need an inspirational kick in the butt every now and then. Will I be published? Of course! Once this novel and all the other ones in my head are born, my work will line shelves in bookstores, libraries and coffee shops the world over.
I just have to finish pulling the story spores from my brain…and listening to good advice from my coach.
Thanks for everything, Shane!