Friday Speak Out!: An Insecure Writer

Friday, February 26, 2016
by Barbara Barth

Facebook feeds my writing insecurities. Connected to many successful authors that I only know as ‘friends’ because of our common love of writing, I read their posts, happy for all their great news, but sad for me. When I see how hard everyone is working on their books, promotions, and travel for book signings, I worry I have failed. Am I a writer at all? I ask myself this too many times during the day when I should, at the very least, be writing these pitiful thoughts down to purge from my system. After all, I started writing in 2009 to come to terms with the loss of my husband. I am good at finding my way by taking life’s lessons and writing myself into my own next chapter. Until now. I am in a slump, trying to determine what to write about next. Health issues have slowed me down, but so has my desire to write about the same topics. I need a new viewpoint. A new inspiration. Time to decide if I want to write non-fiction or fiction. In the meantime, I waver and do nothing. Well, almost nothing. I am reading more now. Lots more.

A friend recently gave me a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. He knows I love memoir. He also knows my last book was a little picture book, A Dog Dreams of Paris, starring my rescue dog Miss April in Paris. Doing research on Paris (I’ve never been there) I fell in love with the City of Lights. I also love the period of the Lost Generation, as depicted in Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris. The book was kismet for me. Reading it had a domino effect. It lead me to discover books I love that I never knew existed. (Not to sound like a dolt, I do know Hemingway!) I’ve found authors that are inspiring me now. I am reading more than writing. I am learning. It is exhilarating!

My point of this little post is simple. As a writer, I feel like a failure if I am not writing. I’ve been hard on myself when I shouldn’t be. I’ve taken some time off, to heal from my surgery, but also to open my mind to new ideas, to find the next path for my writing. I am putting that thought in a folder called GROWTH. Growing pains can be hard. It takes time to mature. My plan is to come out of this quiet period knowing myself better, having read some incredible books, and finally, a new book of my own. I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer. My mantra. It is good to take a deep breath and plot your own story line as well as your next book. I just need to remember no one likes a weepy heroine! Facebook tells me so.

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Barbara Barth is a writer, blogger, antique dealer, and dog whisperer. She lives with five rescue dogs that rescued her. She is the author of The Unfaithful Widow (a finalist in the 2011 USA Best Book Awards), Danger in her Words, and a picture book A Dog Dreams of Paris (a portion of the proceeds go to animal rescue). Her work has appeared on many women’s blogs and in On Purpose Woman magazine.

In addition to her own writing, Barth helps share author’s books on her two book blogs, Book Talk and Writer With Dogs. Visit her website or contact her at .
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


pam said...

Thank you Barbara. I too have been in a slump. Not as a writer, but as an artist. Seems I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at other artists' work. It is so inspiring, but when I start my own I'm distracted by doubt. If I could only shut off the critical voice that tells me I am not an artist, just a wanna be. So I give up, put my tools away, and continue to look at what other artists have done. It is a constant battle with the brain to shut down and let me be. Let me create what I feel inside. It's exhausting. But I won't give up. The desire to do is greater than the fear of giving into doubt.

Bookie said...

Super essay...hit me right between the eyes as I am in same space. Thanks for the support!

Barbara Barth said...

Pam - would love to see your art. I am a huge art lover and my walls are full. Designers says your bedroom should be quiet - that too much on the walls distracts. Art makes me happy and I can fall asleep dreaming about a piece I'm looking at. And I always wonder the story behind it. Send a link if you can!

Barbara Barth said...

Bookie - once I wrote that essay I felt relief. Sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves. Thank you for your support. I felt a little nervous about my piece! Barbara

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