I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer. Click here for details!
Writing contests, at least the two that I've been brave enough to enter, have first brought out my deepest insecurities then second, some of my best writing. Why is this?
I suspected from a very early age that I'd missed out on the ‘Creativity Gene' all together. I didn't know for certain but I'd thought then that I lacked this critical ingredient; that I was somehow inexplicably Un-Creative.
I knew I was smart maybe even a bit crafty but not in a knitted-dish-cloth-kind-of-way, no, I was more like the sneaky-crafty type! I had to find a way to outwit my 5 other siblings and competition could be stiff so using one’s smarts was paramount to survival in a family of 7 others!
This ‘sneakiness’ of mind manifested itself during my high school years as the person, me, who would finish everyone else’s creative writing assignments…for a price naturally! I found it fun & maybe just a little challenging too as I had deadlines to maneuver around and then there was the necessity of variety so that all those stories didn't sound like they’d been written by the same person-which of course they had been.
But, to consider myself a writer? No, never because I wasn't the creative type and besides there was a greater incentive behind the writing-real goodies like candy and stuff!
Throughout the rest of my school years and well into my employment experience writing was there in some form or another. I wrote short stories for the office rag. Storytelling was something I loved doing yet, I could not own the identity of writer-wanna-be it just felt too…fake, not me, I mean, I just didn't possess the creative soul that it takes to be, well, the creative type! This became a galvanized idea within my psyche. I’d created this alter-idea of myself so that I could function in a world where creativity was some kind of sacred path but not just anyone could lay claim to this hallowed state of being only those deemed the ‘special people’ which I clearly was not.
I’d dabbled in painting but that too felt like just another futile path until I dropped it completely after several false starts. I really wanted to be creative. I sensed that being in the creativity-club meant you were somehow more whole as a person. You were complete whereas I simply felt hollow and counterfeit to my core.
Perhaps I would have lived my life this way never feeling the fulfillment one gets with taking risks and challenging one’s own status-quo. Sure, I took risks I was an adventuresome person but I’d not dared to venture beyond my comfort zones; beyond the physical, logical and practical realms and besides I didn't like surprises anyway. But, something happened that was so unexpected, so out there and utterly mind-blowing that my perspective about life, mine in particular would never be the same again-not even close!
I suffered a huge trauma. Then a short time later came the drama, then more drama and then, after that, some more drama. Suddenly, not only did I have something to write about but I had lots to say too plus I felt compelled to write, yes, you read that right, c-o-m-p-e-l-l-e-d to write!! I felt inspired coupled with a deep inner knowing that this was something I needed to do. I was ecstatic! But wait a second I’m not a creative person so how can I expect to pull this off? I’m no writer, am I?!
Which brings me back to my initial question; why do these types of situations, contests and what are essentially proving grounds bring out such fear, vulnerability and sagging confidence in me?
Well it all goes back to feeling like a fraud. All the insecurities I ever felt about not being in the creativity-club come up and taunt me once again then before I can run and hide I begin to write. I write from my gut. I don’t really think too much about it, the words just flow and I know it’s real; it’s really me in here after all.
You Are Enough;)