Am I brilliant or not so much? A writer’s self-confidence bounces on a po-go stick.

Yesterday, I was reading the daily post of a great blogger, Bottleworder. His topic? The benefits of being dumb. It’s worth reading.

Today, I’m not going to write about the benefits of being dumb, but something that afflicts many writers: feeling dumb.

“Have you read this yet, Eugenia? It’s brilliant, I tell you! That Rebecca Klempner’s going to win a prize one of these days!”

When I read something I’ve written in the past, I usually have one of two reactions:

1) That was brilliant! I wrote THAT? Was I channeling or something? Wow.

2) I can’t believe I wrote that. Why, oh why didn’t I (insert suggested improvement here) before I submitted? It could have been so much better. People are reading this drech? ¬†And my name’s attached to it? Can I hide now?

I think that writers like me have the self-confidence of a pogo stick. Up-down-up-down. If this were just a matter of my self-esteem, I’d keep this discussion to myself, but it actually affects my decision-making skills relative to my writing.

When do I submit? Is it good enough? Will it be accepted as it is, or will some editor laugh at my sub and then tell his buddy in the next cubicle about how terrible it was.

Is what I wrote actually funny, or did the members of my writing group (and my darling husband) only laugh because of the intonation of my voice while I was reading? Or because they were feeling punchy after too little sleep?

You catch my drift. Continue reading