I DID IT, you all! I've found the Fountain of Youth. I didn't need an antique map or magical compass, though I did have to charge through uncharted territory to get there. And now, instead of being the 33 year old adult that I was- happy to wear two different socks, satisfied without makeup in public, and totally at ease with my faults, I have become an insecure teenager again. HIGH FIVE! (Or is that, like, totally lame?"
Unfortunately, I still have the body of someone with three kids and all the financial responsibility that I had before, but now I get to wonder if I'm good enough, if anyone will ever want me, and compare myself to others that are cooler, more successful, and better than I am...at writing. YIPPEE!
Hey you! No shoving! There's plenty Agua de Vida to go around...
No matter what age you begin writing (God bless those souls that start while they are insecure teenagers already- of course, getting it over with in one punch seems like an alright idea now that I think about it) everyone will go through an "I'm just a kid again" phase. The one where you attempt in vain to make yourself a part of the "cool table", tight roll your pants, and meekly opt to keep your true self buried while you try on all the hats from other's heads and wonder why they don't look right on you. Hold on to your seatbelts, it's a bumpy ride...I should know, I'm in the middle of it now.
Don't fret because, like the awkward teenage years eventually did, it'll pass. (I tell myself this anyway) And we will become surer writers in the end, ones that can read a published book without comparing it unfairly to our own rough draft. We will finally find our own voice, which had been there all the time but was shyly peeking out from behind Mother's skirt. We will embrace our weaknesses, learn from our mistakes and in the end, we will be strong enough to hug up the next generation of evolving writers, give them some Oxy, and remind them it will all be okay- we know because we were there.
This is the lecture I give myself from time to time. Of course, the times of insecurity are maniacally contrasted by periods of overconfidence when I declare I am the best at everything. But hey, I'm a teenager- I'll grow out of it.