I haven't blogged in a while, mostly because the insanity that comes with buying and selling real estate has taken up most of my energy. But I've also been mulling a topic over in my head for a while. I'm wondering if any writer ever feels competent.
As a journalistic writer (my day job), I feel competent. I know what elements of a story need to be included for a reader to be satisfied at the end and to learn something. And as a creative writer, I have the basic knowledge about those things, too.
One of the main differences, I think, is that I am not worried about perfecting a journalistic piece. Don't get me wrong, I want it to be good. But I know that a large part of the process is the editing that my editor will do to ask questions I didn't think to, and maybe to help me focus the piece.
The second big difference is that at some very definitive point, I have to let go of my journalistic piece. It's called a deadline, after which, my words will be printed somewhere and I can never, ever edit them again. The process for getting creative writing published seems to encourage a feeling of incompetence--you finish your story/book and think it's done. You send it out to a few magazines/agents/editors, and let's say they all reject it. So now not only is your writing incompetent, but so is your judgment about knowing when something is done. So you go back, and rework, and send it out again in the hopes that this new person won't give you another reason to think you're incompetent.
So what's the moral of this post? How does a writer begin to feel competent about her writing, her story telling, and her ability to decide when something is done? I don't know! You tell me. Please.