I was putting off this post, hoping the insecurity would go away by the time I got to it, or at least another would take it's place, but nope! So I'm about to do something extremely scary for me. (Alex, I blame you for starting this ;))
Everyone has experience with labels. In high school, I was labeled as a ditz, the dumb blonde that wasn't blonde, the "without a care in the world" girl, head in the clouds, not much going on upstairs, light's on-no one's home, etc. You get it. I actually took that Mean Girls quiz and got this:
It actually got to the point when I was told that I was pretending to be dumb to get attention, because despite my label, I had excellent grades. Well, that just made things worse because I wasn't pretending anything, so the insecurity weighed down on me. I felt unsure about anything I said, worried when I was just trying to have fun and I'd come off ditzy. I knew I was naive in a lot of things of the world, and so instead of admitting to jokes I didn't get, I'd laugh anyway, or pretend I knew what people were talking about when they told me their life experiences I didn't understand. I wanted to hide the fact that people were RIGHT. My label... was right.
Even after graduating, after getting married, having kids, holding jobs that aren't easy to understand, I've carried the label with me. I do feel stupid. I feel inadequate and immature and uncomfortable in my own brain. I try to joke it off (since that's my go-to when I get uncomfortable) saying it's mommy mind, but the reality is, I've ALWAYS been dumb.
I don't know what possessed me to sit down and write a book that one day. I suppose I've always had so many characters and story ideas and no outlet. The thought of actually writing them out didn't cross my mind until that day because I wasn't good at translating thoughts to words. When I took that chance, I had to force myself to learn the ins and outs of writing. I studied and poured over blogs and books and anything under the sun because despite my lack of vocabulary, I loved writing out the characters who had been living in my head for so long.
Everything in writing is a learning experience. I get that. But once I published, I was not prepared for this insecurity to rear its ugly head again. My characters are often labeled immature and stupid. My books are not peppered with beautiful prose or deep, meaningful dialogue. I sit on the surface of fluff, and it was never my intention to write anything more than that because those characters seem very real despite the shallowness, but it still hits me hard. That maybe I'm not smart enough to write any deeper than what I am.
My vocabulary is that of a twelve-year-old's. My prose includes the phrase "What the crap?" and words like "super" and "awesome." Because that is how I talk. And when you become a published writer, you put yourself out there for criticism over pretty much everything. From what words you use to even what names you choose for your characters. I think slowly I'm growing a thick coat of armor whenever a book of mine comes out, but there is that one open nerve. And it often gets poked at, making it hard to write the next one because I constantly think, "Am I smart enough to do this?"
So, there it all is. I don't even have an uplifting thought, yikes! I'll just leave you with the spell for the day, and hope that now that I've admitted this it goes away. That is how it works, right? ;)
Spell for the day: