So how good do you think you are at something? Pretty good? Awesome? Not so good?
Okay, now how good do you know you are at something? Is it the same answer?
Now, how good do you think someone is at that same thing? Do you view them higher? Lower? On the same level?
I ask these questions because it's important for me to be able to put things into perspective. I think I'm an okay writer. Based upon the reviews I've received for Spiral X, I know I'm better than what I think. However, when I hold myself up to the writers I admire the most. Eddings, Butcher, Salvatore, Williams, I don't see myself as being in the same league. I want to be as good as them, or better. I have a lot of work to do.
I had an odd conversation with my academic advisor when I was set to sign up for this term's courses. Once I had finished confirming my choices, I was asked, "So how are you doing with your current classes?"
My response? "I think I'm doing okay, but we'll see." Keep in mind that I always have access to my grades, since it's an online university.
A few seconds later, after the advisor had called up my grades, she said, "But you're on pace to finish with an A!" She was confused by my hesitance. I imagine almost anyone would be. Why would a person, who is doing well enough to keep pushing through to get an A in a course, doubt what the end result would be?
It's because of who I am. I never doubt that I will get the grade I'm shooting for. When it comes to college, why wouldn't you give 100% and do whatever you could to graduate with an A? After all, it's money out of your pocket, not to mention the foundation for future success. Of course, it helps to have perspective over the whole thing. I'm quite sure if this were fifteen years ago and I was fresh out of high school that I wouldn't feel this way, but I guess that's what wisdom is all about.
I feel the same way about my writing. I know I'm a good writer, but I question that because it keeps me on edge. It forces me to look at what I'm doing, at how I'm doing it, and work to make it better. Egotism has no real place in the world of being a writer. When you feel you've got nothing left to improve, that you have nothing left to do in order to up your game, then it's time to get out. If you're surrounded by people who constantly tell you everything you want to hear and don't ride your ass on all the little things that make you better, then it's time to surround yourself with new people.
I want to be a writer. In fact, I want to be a successful writer. I would love nothing more than to make a living at doing this. But for as long as I live, for as long as I choose to write, I will always think of myself at a level lower than where others see me. Because while I know I'm a good writer, I also know I can get better. I know I can be a great writer.
I hope you all will join me as I work toward that goal.