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There Is No Use Denying Who You Are

This is a republished blog posted here on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood as Closet Writers that was felt by many of our readers. I hope it will connect with a few more as we go into a new year.

Closet writers break my heart. Any reason a writer keeps their writing a secret is just wrong, unless the writing is extremely personal and not meant for other’s eyes. I was a closet writer.

There are many reasons why writers remain in the closet and the Rubies have had discussions concerning them. At some time or another, many of us have faced the road-blocks that kept us from being us.

Some writers think they haven’t read enough books to be considered a writing expert. In their minds, if people find out they write, they must’ve read every single book ever published. I’m here to tell you that I’ve never read Huck Finn, War and Peace, Fifty Shades Of Gray or a zillion other classic or best-selling books. Does that confession make me less of a writer? I think not.

Being shy, it can take years for some people to join a writer’s group. A long, long time ago, when the internet was young and a thing called dial-up was used to connect to it, writers actually went to public meetings to connect with those of like minds. Walking into a meeting can be daunting to a wall flower. I know because I’m an introvert. The internet and the ambiguity it provides, has made it easier for some writers to connect to others, but not all. They remain in the background, unsure of themselves. To them, I say, “it’s always the quiet ones who make the biggest impression when they’re ready.” Rest assured most writers are genuinely nice and more than willing to help other writers in any way they can. You only need to be serious about the craft to be considered a writer by them.

A closet writer might feel they don’t know enough about the craft and until they know all there is to know they remain in seclusion. I’m not sure if there is anyone out there who knows it all. Well, maybe King, Patterson or Nora. Only they can answer that question. The point being, the majority of writers will openly admit that they don’t know everything and that they learn something new all the time. Join the club that strives to be better at their craft.

My writing sucks. It very well could, but are you the best judge? You’ve read and studied and wrote and edited. Now it’s time to trust yourself and share your work. If a critique offers constructive advice, weigh it, and then accept it or not. In the end, it’s your story. There is no greater joy for a writer than when a reader enjoys your work. The only way to know that joy is to share your gift.

There are those who really, really want to be a writer but struggle to do the work required. Writing is hard work and takes a huge amount of time. Completing a work is possible a word at a time. Commit to the work, or perhaps another hobby would be better for you.

I’m fortunate. I’m a writer who has had the support of family and friends for many years, but that wasn’t always the case. I once was a closet writer. I was told that my dreams of becoming a published writer were stupid and thus I hid my passion. Now, when I read the notebooks I filled during that time, I cringe at the darkness that shadowed my life.

One day, I finally broke and said to myself, “This is my life and I don’t want to look back and wonder what if I’d taken one step. Would my dreams have come true?” That was a year of change for me on many levels. It was a hard trial but through it I learned I had the support of many family members. I read craft books. I joined a writer’s group. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I attended conferences and workshops.  I found more support through my writer friends. I met the man of my dreams and he became my biggest supporter. I will love him forever for letting me be me.

Life doesn’t give us do-overs, but it does give us second chances. Take the step toward being you.

 

Autumn Jordon is the award-winning author of Perfect and Perfect Hearts.  She enjoys writing  contemporary romance, romantic suspense and thrillers/mysteries.  Subscribe to her newsletter at www.autumnjordon.com and be entered into members only contests. perfect-box-basic-2

9 responses to “There Is No Use Denying Who You Are”

  1. Awesome post, my Ruby Sister! At one time or another I have gone through each of these excuses for failing to be my authentic self. I kept waiting for my financial situation to be just right, for my responsibilities to my mother to be just right, for my writing to finally be as good as that of my favorite authors (translation – the same as my favorite authors) – you name it, I grabbed hold of it, lived it and breathed it. Until I finally realized I was pushing 60 and still hadn’t achieved the dreams of the nine-year-old girl who sat up in her room under the eaves of the little cottage in England and wrote and wrote and wrote. You can let others tell you HOW to live your life, but guess what, when all is said and done YOU are the one who has to live WITH it. Win, lose, or draw I am going to give this thing my very best shot and that means admitting to myself and anyone else I HATE doing anything other than reading or writing or proofing or editing romance. Period. No apologies. Not any more. I am so glad to know you understand that, my friend. Nobody wants to be bold as brass and weird as hell by themselves. 🙂

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    • I am so proud of the huge steps you;ve taken this past year. Louisa. And I’ll bet that you’re much happier. I know I felt complete when I took steps toward living my dream.

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  2. Elizabeth Langston says:

    I think we focus too much on whether we’re making money, as if that is the only yardstick there is for writing. People ask me often “Are your books selling well?” and I always say “Fine.” And maybe that’s what keeps us in the closet–the idea that we aren’t good or successful. Writing is hard, and finishing a book is successful. Doing what you love is a win.

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    • Tamara Hogan says:

      Beth, for published authors, I think you nailed it.

      I haven’t published a book for several years, benching myself until the rights to my previously published books reverted back to me. During that time, I’ve worked really hard to decouple money, earnings, good reviews – hell, even daily word count – from my personal sense of joy, of job satisfaction. Like you, I’ve also learned to answer just about any “muggle” question about book publishing by saying, “It’s going fine.” 😉

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    • Sadly, worrying about sales is part of running a small business and any angst can rob your creativity. I think I’ve come to peace with the fact that I need to do certain things to reach readers but ultimately writing is my joy. I do it first for me and then my readers.

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  3. Rita Henuber says:

    I love to WRITE. Does my writing suck? Shrug. Maybe to someone. Me? Of course I think every word I swirl on the page is amazing. 🙂 As for those who want to drag you down, well, phooey on them. Creative people have to deal with detractors. My theory is, those that can create, write, paint, act, sing, etc. DO. Those whiney, jealous, soul suckers who detract, well, that’s all they can DO. So there.
    BTW I think writing is the combination of all creative talents. So have fun. Write.

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  4. Dawn says:

    This is a great post. Thank you. For someone getting ready to really commit to writing daily in 2017, I needed to hear this today. It goes into my writing notebook!

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