There seems to be this general conception of writers as confident creatures with larger-than-life egos (think Richard Castle, from Castle).
Those of us who actually are writers know, of course, that such raging egos can easily mask a raging sense of insecurity.
And while I believe we all need to have faith in our ideas, occasional insecurity isn’t such a bad thing, especially if it motivates us to learn more about our craft.
Sometimes I find myself skimming over new posts on writing, thinking to myself, “Yeah, I got this–I already know this.” This reaction, I think, is dangerous–to anyone, but particularly for writers. In my case, while I’ve relatively recently reconverted to the fiction writing of my youth, I do have lots of experience with reading and writing: a PhD in English and more than ten years teaching writing classes. It’s easy for me to think I know what I need to know, when, in fact, if I did know all that, I’d already have a book contract.
Even for experienced authors, it’s important to keep learning, to keep challenging oneself as a writer and a thinker. Otherwise our writing stagnates.
My new challenge, particularly as I’m heading to a writer’s conference later this week, is to try to keep an open mind about my craft. You never know–I might just learn something!