Let me just introduce myself by saying that the piece I am about to read completely sucks. In fact, so do I.
I didn’t exactly put it that way at my writing group yesterday, but as one of my reviewers put it, by opening up my excerpt by confessing that my work is ‘low-brow’ young adult faction, “I threw it away before I even started.”
And it’s not the first time. Despite having told countless people in my life to stop apologizing and ‘put their sorrys in a sock’, as George Costanza once put it (okay technically he said to put them in a sack, but I prefer my version because socks are much more readily available than sacks), because it is generally unnecessary and only serves to undermine them I KEEP DOING IT.
I would like to blame my genre, but that would be unfair and cowardly. The truth is I would apologize no matter what I write because writing makes me feel special and opening myself up to others and to the possibility that one of them might tell me I’m wrong is really really scary. So of course to stop that from happening, I say it first and throw away my work, and myself away before any of it has a chance to shine.
From now on, I am going to follow George’s advice, and keep those damn sorrys in the sock they belong in—no matter how terrified I am. Who knows, sooner or later I might actually start truly believing I really am as special as I like to think I am.