The Purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
To join IWSG visit Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here.
My insecurities this month revolve around things other than writing, like U.S. politics—which, at the moment, I find untenable bordering on hopeless. And other stresses such as, will I have somewhere to live and food on the table in the coming months?
Certainly these broader insecurities affect my writing, but IWSG isn’t the place for a discussion of personal finances and/or politics. So instead, I’m going to get philosophical on you and serve up several well-known quotes on insecurity.
Let’s hit it.
“One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming
insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit.”
While I agree with the essence of what Konrath is saying, the statement is so general as to be misleading. There’s a marked difference between overcoming insecurity and not giving a shit. I’d go so far as to say energy directed away from self-doubt leads to increased confidence that may result in our giving even more of a shit about our work.
Not everyone agrees overcoming insecurity is a positive:
“I think one thing that’s important to maintain is a sense
of fear, always doubting yourself… a good dose of
insecurity helps your work in some ways.”
Brilliant Neo-Freudian Erich Fromm saw insecurity from an different perspective. For Fromm, insecurity was neither to be overcome nor used to advantage, but something unavoidable to be endured.
“The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure,
but to be able to tolerate insecurity.”
For me, Fromm’s is a real world approach. Just because we can’t eliminate insecurity doesn’t mean letting it run our lives. We deal. Hence IWSG.
Fromm also tells us:
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”
This is essentially the opposite of Konrath’s view. “Truly not giving a shit” is pretty much the ultimate certainty—one we create for ourselves.
Last but not least, who hasn’t heard this one?
“The hallmark of insecurity is bravado.”
Can be true, but it’s certainly not universal. And it’s important to remember this doesn’t apply to narcissists, of which there are many. Regrettably, narcissism is on the rise in our culture.
As Psychology Today tells us: “It was once thought that narcissists have high self-esteem on the surface, but deep down they are insecure. However, the latest evidence indicates that narcissists are actually secure or grandiose at both levels.”
Is it more advantageous not give a shit or to channel
insecurities into our work?
A more provocative question (seasoned with a dash of circular
logic and a wink): is Konrath’s bravado a sign of his insecurity?