Pam Houston posted this on facebook today and I wanted to pass it on:
the heavy doubt: it's normal; it's the territory, the province, the
wallpaper in what Jim Dickey called the cave of making. It is your
talent itself that produces it. So write through it. Do the work. If you
let it stop you, if you let it make you hesitate, you're making the
first and most elemental mistake, and you're acting like a dabbler, an
amateur. This day's work. Each day. ~ Richard Bausch
Richard Bausch was one of the authors my advisor turned me on to last year - a master at writing short stories. One might be able to teach a class called, "Everything I learned about writing I learned from Richard Bausch."
This hit home so close today because I've been struggling with two things lately. Firstly, of course is doubt about my writing. Is it good enough? Especially through my first drafts, this doubt plagues me to the point of paralysis if I don't put blinders on, stop reading what I'm writing, and just plow through.
But the other thing is doubt about writing as a career. I made an off-hand remark to my husband the other day that everyjob I want to do doesn't pay much. And his off-hand remark back, which I'm sure he meant no harm by, was that if it doesn't pay, it's not a job, it's a hobby.
And that made me wonder if I'm really a writer, or if writing isn't really just a hobby. Something I spend an inordinate amount of time doing, but really no different than say golfing or scrapbooking.
Maybe in the end it doesn't matter if I am a hobbiest or a professional. Maybe it only matters that I don't let those labels stop me from doing the work, every day.
What do you think? Does it matter how you view yourself?