We all suffer from it. We dread it but it is also our constant companion, like that old T-shirt you’ve had since 1993 and has as much of your skin cells in it as your body. Writer’s tears.
We fight with it, say we hate it, but if you don’t suffer the dark, how will you know the light?
Stephen King says his writing is the equivalent of junk food. I myself am partial to a burger, fries and cola, part of the reason why I have been overweight for some years, but that’s another issue for another post.
I recently self-published my first novel, and it is definitely not going to win any chef’s hats. I know that and am perfectly comfortable with it. Now.
For years I was so afraid of being laughed at, thought of as rubbish, and a whole host of other things, that I didn’t write. It used to be a passion of mine when I was younger. But life came along and writing fell by the wayside. Every now and then I would toy with it, look at something I had written and revise or add to it, but apart from that it was never something I pursued. I certainly never showed anyone.
Then one day I finally did. I showed something I had been working on and revising for years to someone I thought cared about me and would give me open and constructive criticism. How wrong I was.
That was when I was laughed at, and I can not recall a single positive thing said about what I had written, or how I might improve upon it.
So I stopped.
Every now and then the siren call would float on a salt-rimed breeze to find my ear, and I would dip my toe in the ocean once more, but I would not dive in again. Not for some years.
That year was 2013. And Ward was the story that brought me back, or more accurately, Ward of the South as it was then known. But my writer’s tears were still there. It would take me three years before I would be able to sufficiently quash those fears and negativity by revising and studying and learning and gaining feedback, not on just that novel but on short stories. And I would also do the same for others so I could help others and learn in the process.
Now my Writer’s Tears come in a bottle. Though until I finish this bottle, I will still struggle. And probably the next and the next, ad infinitum. I don’t think I’ll ever be a Big Mac, and that’s OK by me. I’m not here to be an institution or make millions. I have stories within me, and if there are some, or many, who enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them, then that’s a win.
P.S: Hey, maybe I can be a kebab?