A couple weeks ago, I saw Orson Scott Card author of ENDER'S GAME speak. He brought up something that I'd like to share on this Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Granted, he was focusing his talk on education, but I think it will relate to writing, too.
He talked about credibility--the credibility that comes from gaining a university degree. After four years (or more, if you were me) you obtain a degree. A lot of work is put into schooling. I know far too well. I spent many hours sitting in the math lab. Lots of hours writing papers. And tons of hours sitting in classrooms. But I did it! Now I've got a piece of paper that says I have a Bachelor in Anthropology degree.
Well, how does this relate to writing? As writers, we want that credibility that comes from having one of our books or all of them published. But is that really where credibility comes from? Ok, yes it is...sort of. But, it doesn't have to be.
We are credible because we write! Just deciding to scribble down a story and finishing chapter after chapter is credible. Just because you're not published doesn't mean that you aren't an author.
Yet, obtaining publish-dom is a fantastic goal to keep you typing out words. Having a book on the shelves at the local bookstore or online definitely will make you jump up and down, giggling up a storm (ok, that's what I will do). By all means, don't let not getting that big six figure book deal keep you from thinking you are a credible.
Just keep going. Keep writing. And be happy along the way. You are writer and that makes you AMAZING! An inCREDIBLY amazing person.
PS: Orson Scott Card also said that it doesn't matter where you get your education, be it Harvard or a community college or through reading books or community classes. It's the fact that you have learned something that matters.
The fact that you write is all that matters! And by golly, I've learned so much more about writing by writing a book than I EVER did during my college degree. This time could very well count as a masters program. :D
I hope this has made sense. Perhaps, I've just been blabbing.
Anyway --> *hugs* Especially if you are struggling right now with your writing. :)