Bury Your Head in the Sand Syndrome.

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Bury Your Head in the Sand Syndrome.

There are things I love about my writing, things I hate about my writing and things I don’t want to acknowledge about my writing. The latter I think being the most dangerous.

This has been niggling at the back of my mind for a while and when I finally had to accept it by sombody brave enough to point it out to me, I was knocked back quite a lot. But I’m glad they did otherwise I would have kept pushing it away and just carried on regardless.

I’m not going to say what the problem is as I don’t think that’s the point. But the reason why I’m saying it’s dangerous, is not only will my writing friends see the problem, but so will, editors, agents, publishers, see what I mean? There are enough writers out there trying to become published so why would they accept someone who isn’t up to scratch?

For example, before going on holiday I submitted two flash fiction stories to the same online journal who had previously rejected two of my other stories. You’d think I’d have learnt by now wouldn’t you! So being brave and practical this time, or so I thought, I asked them in my email with the submission, that if they rejected these story’s could they give me some feedback. The reply was ‘certainly, in fact we have more author’s reading through the stories this time so we can give you plenty!’ Oh Oh.

So….the week after I got back from my holiday, all relaxed and focussed I got THE email. ‘We’re sorry but unfortunately your piece isn’t suitable for our journal this time,’ etc, etc. But to add insult to injury, my own fault mind you, there were five lots of feedback from five different authors staring me in the face!

The thing is it wasn’t all doom and gloom, even though I didn’t think so at the time. There were a lot of positive comments, but of course a writer being a writer, all I could focus on were the negative ones. Their words might as well have slapped me round the face, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I nearly cried.

What did I do? I’d love to say that I didn’t let it get to me and thought ‘its fine I’ll learn from it,’ and got on with a story I’d just started working on. Nope I got up, stomped off and decided I was a rubbish writer and may as will give up then and there.

My confidence was smashed to bits, why did my friends and family say I was really good when I wasn’t. Because they are not writers, they don’t see my stories as writers do and they wouldn’t pull them apart, it would hurt my feelings.

It’s so bleeding difficult this writing thing, and not for the faint hearted. I remember a colleague once saying to me, nothing to do with writing by the way, that I needed to grow a thicker skin. I was in a panic about something, obviously insignificant, because I can’t even remember what it was now!

Its true though my skin needs to leather up! So today I have warily slunk over to my computer to write this post, expecting it to bite my hand off as soon as I touch the keyboard. But it hasn’t happened, in fact I’m almost enjoying saying hello to it again.

Am I really going to give up my writing? Not on your bloody nelly I’m not. Here’s why folks.

  • My head would explode, no really sometimes its full to bursting point with ideas clamouring to get out.
  • When they do get out, I’m like a whirling dervish and can’t stop until I drop.
  • When I read through what I’ve written I realise I like it, I really do and its there in front of me, my creation.
  • I love my little short stories, my dragons….yes I know, I know! My elves and imps and mystical lands.
  • My book? That word count is growing, those characters are developing, I’m building my world and would quite like to live in it myself some day!
  • When it goes well I’m happy, very happy, because I feel so satisfied reading through those sentences, typo’s and all.
  • I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, how I’ve grown from someone with no experience, into a writer. Wow me a writer!
  • I’m ok at this writing lark and getting better all the time.
  • That ‘thicker skin’ is getting there, ugh what a thought.
  • Eventually I’ll hold my novel in my hand, probably hug it actually, and know I did that, here’s the proof. Who would have believed it. I’ve realised my dream.
  • This is meant to be. My illness brought me to this point. Words came spilling off the page to cope with it at the time. Check out my other blog here if you want to know more.
  • Also not forgetting all of the wonderful inspiring writers I’ve met, the camaraderie between us to keep pushing on. Kicking each other up the backside if needs be!

No doubt I’ll get knock backs from time to time, well knowing me a fair few times, and probably a lot more constructive criticism too. Maybe I should change that to destructive criticism! Only joking, I’ve still got a lot to learn  and hone my skills as it were, study and step back a little. Rushing won’t achieve anything apart from average work, and I’m bloody fussy!

Hey is that a list up there? I’m not normally a list kind of person so I must have had a lot of positive things to say. I think I’ll print it off and have a read through every now and then, to remind myself that not being perfect is All Write ahem, a bit of a plug at the end. Go on click the link, you know you want to!


What do you think of my list, have I missed anything? Do you have those insecure times and how do you handle it? Id love to know, maybe I can pinch some ideas!




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4 thoughts on “Bury Your Head in the Sand Syndrome.

  1. A lovely blog, Debbie – I’m so glad you’ve kept going! And how cool that you’ve sold your first story, too! It’s so hard to face our weaknesses, but doing so lets us grow stronger both as writers and people. Well done you for sticking with it, and sharing your experiences with the rest of us.

    1. Thanks Kim I’m sure that all of the hard work will pay off eventually. I’m a storyteller I love to write so I’ll keep trying.

  2. This is so true, it’s much easier to dwell on the negative responses. And half the time it’s myself saying it, not someone else! To push through I have two secret weapons. A special page in my Evernote account where I do all my planning. I copy every nice review and great comment people have made about my writing, then read it back whenever I feel like I’m the most terrible writer on the planet. The other is my sister. I send her every chapter I write and she gives feedback, she tells me straight when something does need reworking (even five times) so when she does give her amazing encouragement, I know she means it 🙂

    1. Great idea about saving all your good feedback, and what a brave sister you have telling you the truth! Thanks so much for your comments. I’m looking forward to reading your book, as you know, I have it now:-)

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