Come join me Sunday, July 30th!

Come join me Sunday, July 30th!
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore- San Diego

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

But am I a HACK?

Yup- it's that time again- time for writers of all stripes to shout their insecurities into the great void of cyberspace and pray it doesn't echo back with a "you're right".

So today I thought I deal with the biggie, the one faced by millions of writers and from which all other insecurities stem from--being a hack.

hack writer - a mediocre and disdained writer
 
 
It's that whole mediocre bit that gets me.  Writers spend most of our time alone, hacking (;)) away at words in the dark confines of our writer hobbit holes, hoping that what we're putting together is awesome and will wow the literary world.  Or at least our chosen corner of it.
 
 
But no matter how many words I write, no matter how many new worlds, or new characters, I can't help that fear that it's all lacking.  That instead of flinging words of wonder out into the Universe I'm flinging something more likely to be found being flung at a zoo.
 
 
Now, logically (don't you hate it when logic interferes with a perfectly good, 'woe is me' rant?) I have enough evidence that I am not a hack.  Probably.  Enough industry professionals (who had no vested emotional reason to lie to me) have commented on my writing in a positive manner that I am not a hack. Random readers in contests, also with no vested interest in my mental well being, have given positive feedback to also support this hypothesis.
 
 
But logic doesn't kick in when it comes to that fear, that terror, that maybe I am just a hack and perhaps the professionals in question were on meds that day...or off their meds...or had too much coffee and were in a manic caffeine happy high.
 
 
I do wonder at what point the fear goes away. But until then, I'll continue battling with my inner demons and keep putting the words down.
 
 
Eventually it gets better.  Right?


18 comments:

  1. Gosh, I hope it gets better! Actually I think I am a bit of a hack still...writing for myself and writing for the public feel so completely different and I'm still not comfortable with publishing....hopefully that will change with my next release? lol...great post!

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    1. Maybe if we just keep telling ourselves it will get better--it will?

      LOL! Thanks for coming by and commenting, Kristi!

      Marie- at work, can't log unto blogger

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  2. I wonder the same thing every day.

    I am working with an independent editor on my first manuscript - her feedback is very positive. Of course, I am paying her for her services - what if she is lying? That wouldn't be good for her career, but...

    I have just entered my first contests. What if the judges tell me - very politely of course - that I should never touch a keyboard again?

    I have noticed a direct correlation between how tired I am and how badly I think my writing sucks. Usually by Wednesday, I'm starting to wonder "Why bother? No one is ever going to like my stuff." On weekends, when I am well-rested, it's more like "I've got this -time to kick some writing butt!" Lol.

    You have been at this longer than I have, but I'm guessing that it never goes away...

    Linda Ward (w/a Isabella Norse)

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    1. LOL- now see, Isabella/Linda- you've got that logic thing kicking in too! The whole tired and thinking our writing sucks correlation ;). I agree, when I'm rested and healthy my belief in my writing goes up. But logic does ruin a good rant!

      I hope if it doesn't go away, it at least settles down to a dull murmer we can ignore :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie- at work, can't log unto blogger

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  3. Great post, Marie! I hate labels, because what it really comes down to is loving writing and then finding readers who love your stories. There are always going to people who hate what you write--and that's okay. They try it once and then move on. But I think if you write for yourself and enjoy the process, you will find an audience who wants what you have to offer! ;)

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    1. You are a font of wisdom, Cassi :). It's taking that deep breath and reminding myself of that fact when the fear strikes that I sometimes fail to do ;).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie- at work, can't log unto blogger

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  4. You are so right about fear! It's never logical!

    That's why it's healthy to talk about it and put it out into the light because it's only scary in the dark shadows...

    I can say that you are no hack Marie! You've got a super voice and that's not something that can be taught... :)

    Lisa :)

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    1. Very true, Lisa! If we pull the fears out and really look at them, they lose their power (and yet again logic is ruining my rant! LOL!!)

      Thank you for the kind words about my anti-hackiness and voice--coming from you that means alot!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie- at work, can't log unto blogger

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  5. So true.
    Low sales gets me worrying. Writer's block is another one. I don't know if that "Am I a hack?" thing ever goes away.

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    1. SIGH- I was afraid of that. But one can hope it'll go away, right? :)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  6. **Can I tell you a secret?**

    After a dozen contracts and great reviews... I still think I'm a hack. (My friends, critique partners, Beta readers, editors etc don't but I still think it.) I don't think any writer (or at least none that I know) ever get beyond that insecure feeling. In our mind, we need that positive reinforcement to remind us that maybe what we not hacks.

    I think writers have fragile views of themselves (I know I am!) because anyone can pass judgement on our labours.

    All we can do, as authors, is grow thicker skin!

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    1. Nooooooooooo!!!! SIGH. Well, you seem to be thriving even with the fear, so I will learn by your example :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  7. So funny! Before I read your next line, I stopped at the mediocre definition and thought I DON'T like that word. :) But, it is a great fear of mine too. The what-ifs sometimes keep me paralyzed - what if everyone hates it, what if I sound like a moron, what if it's okay but not great??!

    Great topic to bring up, thanks for sharing!

    Melinda

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    1. Hmmm- that may be the secret, Melinda-- if we keep hating that word (mediocre) then we'll make sure it never gets applied to us!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  8. Marie,

    When that fear rears its ugly head I try to remind myself that you can't please everyone. Of course, that is when my inner voice asks the question, "What if you can't please anyone?" Ouch. How easily our inner voices can turn any positive into a negative.
    Perhaps there is no such thing as a hack. (Wouldn't that be nice. No chance of ever being one that way.)Or perhaps hacks never suffer from insecurities. (That would mean they weren't human, right? I'm human, I think.) You have probably noticed that my inner fears have taken up with their favorite defender, rationalization, in hopes of driving the fear away.
    Perhaps the real truth is that our insecurities make us strive every day to be better at our craft in the hope of burying those insecurities beneath a mountain of skill. Personally, I feel I've reached molehill status.

    Great post. Keep 'um coming.
    Sharon

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    1. Thanks, Sharon :)--very nice to see your thought process there! I think you're right though, maybe we need to get out inner voice to play for our side instead of against it. And just make our writing as bullet proof as possible!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  9. Isn't it funny how easy it is to listen to the negative voices than the positive comments? We certainly shouldn't let that paralyze us, but it's so hard not to!

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    1. Agreed, Carissa! We latch on to one negative comment or event and ignore all of the positive ones. I know it's something I'm working to overcomes- not easy though!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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