Since 2011 began, I haven’t been writing. Lots of things have been going on, I’ve been distracted, I’ve felt like giving up, my confidence has been majorly shaken. Every time I’ve tried to write, I feel doubt, like what I’m writing isn’t good enough, that it’s stupid and juvenile and no one would want to read it. This belief is something that I can’t shake, and I miss writing so much.
However, recently things have started to change. Maybe it’s because I have a kick ass idea, or that I freaking missed my characters, but I’m slowly starting to write again. It feels so damn good to lose myself in my words, and be reunited with characters I’ve been with for years, and meet brand new ones. I’m not saying that my confidence has come back, it definitely hasn’t, but I’m getting back to how I used to be. I’m remembering my dream again.
This week, Oprah did a two-part interview with James Frey. His book, “A Million Little Pieces” was picked as a book club pick in 2006, and caused controversy when it was proven that the majority of the book was made up and not a biography like everyone was lead to believe. He came on the Oprah show in 2006 and the entire hour was Oprah expressing how angry she was that he lied. It was a huge story. In no time he was on top of the world, and then he was the most hated. He’s published books since then that have been pretty successful, but he’ll always be known as the guy who duped Oprah.
In the interview that aired on Tuesday, she asked him if his confidence as a writer had been shaken after everything that happened. He didn’t even think about it when he said no. He said that when he wrote “A Million Little Pieces”, he was just locked away in a room, believing that he was going to write a book that would change people’s lives. After the controversy, his faith never wavered, and neither did his belief that he was a great writer.
That was such a powerful comment to me. This coming from someone who lived every writers dream, his book was chosen as an Oprah book club pick, only to have her shame him in front of the world, and he still believed that he was a good writer. He didn’t give up on writing. That’s huge. I took a writing class where they looked critically at my work, and honesty told me what I need to work on and I was ready to quit. If James Frey could keep his head up and keep writing, so can I.
It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m going to remember the faith James Frey had, and apply it to my own life. I used to have that faith. I used to believe that it was just a matter of time before my book got published and Oprah would have me on her couch, gushing about how much she loved it. I don’t remember when that went away, but I need to get it back.
I can’t give up.