Random Thoughts

Spectrums Of Writing

This was written as part of a discussion with the lovely Mandie Hines.

I think spectrums are everywhere, involving a great many things. When I started down this path of sharing my writing, I did it with the “fake it till you make it” idea in mind.

Outside of a few random pieces in high school and university, I’d never been published professionally before. But I wanted people to know I was serious about what I was doing. Yet, my confidence was very low. Showing that vulnerability wouldn’t quite be faking it, would it?

So I kept my head high and pushed through the anxiety that came with every post. Eventually, as I worked on my first novel, and my number of followers was growing, that anxiety eased. Eventually, it stopped. Several published (albeit free e-books only) books later, I feel I can safely say that I’m a writer now.

However, my confidence level hadn’t really changed much. Sure, I can see when people are just starting out, or if English isn’t their first language, but that doesn’t mean they can’t grow and learn. And when people do approach me, often on Instagram DM, they ask for advice or help because they see me as an authority figure. Or that I’m famous. A household name. But I’m no Stephen King. Even he, a repeating member of the #1 New York Times Bestseller club, says he’s the “literary equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries.” If that’s true, I’m the moldy cheese underneath a toddler’s carseat in a minivan.

I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, and I certainly don’t put myself in the category of being pretentious. There are several writers on Instagram that share parody pieces that is not only meant to insult readers, but the writers with a similar style. I cannot stand it when people do this, and I’ve spoken out against it before a few times. Art is subjective and not everyone is going to love a writer’s work. The same goes for Stephen King. Or J.K. Rowling. I see no reason why I should think I’ve hit some arbitrary milestone that makes me better than anyone else.

Β© Sarah Doughty


39 thoughts on “Spectrums Of Writing”

  1. Funny and amazing that I just wrote my first ever blog post and published here. I was thinking to myself that I was going to fake it and appear as tough and confident as I could be, and that would make me a “fake’. It’s ok not to be confident or tough right now, I was never published and English is my second language, it will take lots and lots of trial and error until I get to the point of being called an author and I’m cool with that. It’s very refreshing to read this post and even though I don’t know you, I can see that you are a humble person and has the makings to be great in this craft, I wish you nothing but the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just joined the writing community recently (it’s been a year or so) and I often think about this.

    First of all, great piece- your writing makes me want to continue reading. I know exactly what you’re talking about though, and could really relate to your message. Often I feel the same kind of anxiety and lately have been considering writing an ebook of my own, though I’m absolutely terrified.

    Similar to what you were saying, there’s a vulnerability that comes out in me when I write and even a sense of low confidence. To be honest, the path for a writer can be quite an adventure- and I’m so glad you talked about that aspect of this community in such a raw, honest way.

    Thank you for sharing this. Glad I could find people who think the same.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. An inspirational post Sarah and thank you for writing and sharing it. Any writer who has the courage to write, draw, sing, paint or express their thoughts should be supported. I find the people who spend time criticising and demeaning others are expressing their own insecurities. You are a shining light in this excellent community Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No matter how long we’ve been writing, we’re all still learning. I see every new novel or poem as a fresh start. You do have experience to share and advice to give, so I think it’s wonderful you are keeping the lines of communication open with readers who are also aspiring writers.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m a writer. I’ve published a short novel and short story as a self-published author. But I don’t write for anyone else. I’m thrilled that I have people who read what I write, who comment on that writing, and yes, who buy my writings. But if no one does, it doesn’t matter. I’m still going to write. I have stories and messages that bounce around in my head that need to come out. I think you’re a fabulous writer. Thank you for your writing and your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. None of us are better than anyone else. I have no written books nor any published work. I write for the satisfaction of writing. If people like my work fine, if not that’s OK too. Having followers, likes and comments is nice, but not the reason I write. I write for me, for you, for anyone my words have meaning. I am a writer, published or not, and so are you Sarah πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “Sure, I can see when people are just starting out, or if English isn’t their first language, but that doesn’t mean they can’t grow and learn.”

    I felt so much empathy and compassion from you as a writer just by reading this one statement. You’ve shown us that you treat your writing as an art to cherish personally, rather than to tout as a badge of honor. I think we need more humble writers like yourself. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarah, I think this is one of the wonderful things about the writing community, that you can engage in a conversation like this. And I’m happy that you shared your comment as a post. I enjoyed getting a snippet of your journey thus far, and I’m so glad that you are sharing it with others. I think other writers will be able to relate to this.

    Liked by 2 people

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