ROW80 Check-In 9: Marie Lu on dealing with Writer’s Insecurities

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Hello gentle reader,

I can’t believe it’s already time for another ROW80 check-in! My goals for this fourth round are as follows: Write or edit every day.

So this week was crazy. I think I wrote every day but I have been doing so many different things I can’t be sure. What I did do was launch a blog alongside some lovely ladies (Raewyn Hewitt, Jessica Montgomery, Mara Valderran, K.L. Schwengel and Rachel Horwitz). Our blog is called There And Draft Again: A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers and I hope you’ll be willing to hop over there and support us. There’s a giveaway for our first blog followers. Alternatively, you can follow us on Twitter.

Now, on to an inspiring story to keep us going this coming week. Today I’m sharing Marie Lu’s take on Insecurities. She published the following post on her blog in February 2011, back when her best-selling dystopian novel Legend was still unpublished. I found this post especially fitting this week because I’m querying The Last Queen and I’m not feeling very confident about my writing at this time…

 Marie Lu-Legend

“Artists and writers tend to be fragile creatures by nature. Our work is a piece of our passion cut out and put on public display for the world to see, and we wait with our hearts in our throats as others analyze that work. Sometimes we achieve the ultimate goal: entertaining our public by making them react in an emotional way (joy, sadness, anger, enlightenment, even disgust–depending on what we’re aiming for). More times than not, we’re greeted with our greatest fear: the public’s disappointment, the public’s accusations that our work is a ripoff of something else, or the worst of them all…..the public’s silence.

I have to admit: I’ve never been a very secure person. I wish I could say that I’m confident in the quality of what I do, that I don’t care what others think as long as I’m happy with what I’ve created. But I can’t. I care very much what others think of both my artwork and my writing, and when I’ve disappointed viewers and/or readers, I feel ashamed that I let them down. And as the clock ticks gradually down to Legend’s November launch, I’ve learned something else: a book deal does not cure insecurity. In some ways, it makes it worse. Am I capable of pulling off three consecutive books all featuring the same characters and the same world? Am I smart enough to create prodigiously intelligent characters? Will I be able to make my readers fall in love with my hero and heroine? Some days I can answer these questions with an upbeat “yes, like Obama, I can!”. Other days, I will re-read my words-in-progress and think, “This is trash. This is drivel. Reviewers are going to eat me alive when this comes out.”

In the end, all I can do is put everything into my writing/art and hope that what comes out is something that the public will like. I do know one thing: Legend is the best story I’ve ever written. Which is nerve-wracking. I remember telling myself as it first went out on submission that if Legend couldn’t make it, then there was a good chance that nothing I write would ever make it. It’s my best effort (up until this point, at least). Whether or not that effort is good enough will remain to be seen.”

How are other ROWers doing? Here is the Linky to support each other!

9 thoughts on “ROW80 Check-In 9: Marie Lu on dealing with Writer’s Insecurities

  1. S. J. Maylee says:

    Love the name of the new blog. I’ve found a couple of books on your recommended list that I’ve enjoyed. I’m going to have to try another from your list. It’s cool that all of your locations are so spread out. Congratulations on the launch. As you might have guessed, Marie’s words really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing and have a great week.

  2. Just added There And Draft Again to my google reader 😉

    Oh, what nice words from Marie Lu! Thanks for sharing 😉

    Have a great week, dear! (and good luck with querying!)

  3. John Holton says:

    Sounds like “mission accomplished” on writing every day. I’ll come by and check the new blog.

  4. Julie Glover says:

    How great to write each day! Keep juggling and going. Best wishes with all that’s on your plate.

  5. I have days when I’m sure my story is going to fly – and then others when I wonder who on earth I’m kidding. So it’s always encouraging to see others go through the ups and downs of the creative process. For those low confidence days – remember you have a whole lot of people who believe in you and who are cheering you on. Best of luck! *waves pom poms*

  6. EM Castellan says:

    Having a cheering squad is definitely an asset when you’re trying to write. Keep writing that epic story Raewyn!

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