Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. The laughter, the screams, the decorations, the ghost stories — it’s all such fun. But even from a young age, I knew that “trick-OR-treating” was a misleading term, because you can’t have one without the other. No costume? No candy.
Unfortunately this is true of writing too. The good and bad go hand-in-hand.
But what if we look at it another way? The good and bad go hand-in-hand. That means whenever one of those pesky writerly “tricks” comes up, we can flip it around and find a wonderful writerly “treat” too. For example…
TRICK – Doubt
So much of writing involves just 3 people: Me, Myself, and I. Writers toil for hours in solitude, every sentence like a private conversation with ourselves. In that kind of a closed loop, it’s easy for confidence to flag and questions to seep in through the cracks. Why am I doing this? What are the odds that I will succeed? Hasn’t someone already written this? Am I even any good?
TREAT – Affirmation
When we do let other people into our writing — whether through blogging, publishing a story, or just talking to a friend — that support and encouragement is one of the warmest feelings in the world. In times when doubt threatens to pull me into a dark place, I call upon my reserves of reassurance to get me through: friendly blog comments, fan emails, complimentary rejections from literary magazines, the unconditional love and faith of my family.