Even after years of writing and being a part of some really great writers groups, I find myself dealing with insecurities. I finished my novel and sent out queries and heard from a publisher and an agent. It made me giddy. I sent copies of my story to a few friends with incredible encouragement but their is still that concern, is it good enough? When my friend Kay called to tell me she was almost finished with my novel and it was magnificent, She gushed over it making me feel as if “Yes! I finally made it.” I know it still isn’t published and no one has handed me a royalty check but what she gave me was greater than money. Her praise gave me the courage to send out copies of my novel to others and faith that something might actually come from it.
Should we pin our hopes on what others think or believe? No, of course not, but having someone praise your work, especially someone who has been there through the writing and rewriting, it is encouraging. I will give this caveat. I have learned that not all writers groups are created equal. It takes time to find a group that is comfortable and inspires trust. My great words of wisdom are simple, first you must believe in yourself and your work, then do not allow anyone to tear you down. Praise and criticism should both be weighed with skepticism.