Do you ever feel that as an author you’re divided? That there are two opposing sides of you? The guilt and the elation, the pride and the despair in your writing?
As I traveled to the Surrey International Writers Conference I was a hot mess. When I arrived in Canada and went through customs I was asked several times what the nature of my visit was, business or pleasure. I felt like yelling ‘both!’ then giggling hysterically. I refrained, however, and sedately told them ‘business.’
It was a rush. I was legitimate! I was a writer, going to a conference! It was very validating. Yet, at the same time I felt a fraud. I had to stop myself from explaining to them that it really was business. No, really, how could they even question it. When no one actually had. The second time they asked I almost answered pleasure, because how could someone like me actually be considered a ‘real’ writer. I had too many rejections for that. Then I remembered how many published, award winning, NYT best-selling authors say they feel like a fraud. And it was back to validation.
I was getting a head rush from the mood swings. What other career can cause such swift and extreme changes? But I think we need both sides of the coin. The fear in our failings keeps us working harder, keeps us trying to improve. The belief in ourselves as ‘real’ writers keeps us going through the rejections.
Or maybe I’m just legitimately crazy.