You are such a fraud.
As a writer, how many times have you heard your inner critic say that to you whenever someone compliments your work? What if your work comes up for an award or you get an awesome review from a total stranger?
How about the times you hear that phrase just because you dared to say out loud to someone that you—yes, YOU—are a writer?
For me, it has been thousands and THOUSANDS of times.
Every time I tell someone I write transgressive fiction the first question I get is, “What’s transgressive fiction?” If we’re talking in person, I explain it as best I can (usually not very well). But if we’re emailing I send them the definition cut and pasted from Wikipedia:
Transgressive fiction is a genre of literature which focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual or illicit ways.
Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists of transgressive fiction may seem mentally ill, anti-social, or nihilistic. The genre deals extensively with taboo subject matters such as drugs, sexual activity, violence, incest, pedophilia, and crime.
That definition is actually a very good one. It definitely covers all the bases. However, every time I send it to someone to explain the kind of fiction I write, I feel weird.
I just started writing a new novel a few weeks ago and I feel like a teenager again.
Yes, there is the euphoria and the excitement of magical new lands to discover, and the thrill of new horizons coming into view.
But when I say I feel like a teenager again, that’s not what I mean. Because, in addition to the euphoria, excitement, and thrill, I am also being clobbered by tidal waves of confusion, self-doubt, intense emotion, and fear, fear, fear.
I don’t know if it’s that time of year or what, but I’ve been getting a lot of emails from writers lately about finishing things. This is also a topic that comes up frequently in my coaching sessions with writers. Lots and lots of writers out there are terrified that they will never be successful—or even halfway decent—because they have a lot of trouble finishing things.
Today’s guest post comes from Dario Ciriello, author of Drown the Cat: the Rebel Author’s Guide to Writing Beyond the Rules. Dario is a professional author, editor, and writing coach, as well as the founder and owner of Panverse Publishing. For more on Dario’s work and more information about Drown the Cat you can visit his website, check out Panverse Publishing on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.
One of the harder things for writers today is seeing past the avalanche of writing rules and dogma raining down on them from every corner of the blogosphere, the internet, and the publishing industry, to discover their own personal voice and story.