I've worked as an orthotist since 1985. I make and fit orthopedic braces.
I'm not the most secure guy in the world and I think a lot of my failure to advance results for a single fear.
I'm afraid I won't know. When I get a hospital call, I go to the hospital afraid I won't be able to figure out what they want or won't know how to do it. When I go to meet a new physical therapist I'm afraid I won't know how to do the things they are used to having for their patients. When I see a new patient with a prescription from an unfamiliar doctor, I'm afraid I won't be able to provide them with what they want, or need.
The most absurd thing about this, is that I am good at what I do, I've had a lot more experience than most of my competition and know more about bracing than 99% of the doctors in town. Add to that, I'm creative and successfully adapt, fabricate and fit virtually every patient in a successful manner.
But I lack confidence in myself and my abilities.
I realized this morning as I was editing my current project that the same fear which has limited me in my professional life as an orthotist is the same fear which is limiting me as a writer.
I've written sever novel length manuscripts. If you're reading this, you must know I published one, "The Price of Friendship", about a year ago. Granted, it's not the next Great American Novel. it has its share of plot holes, contradictions and weak writing. It took me two years to finally write it, then another year to edit it for recording.
As I got that one out to podiobooks.com I felt I needed to get another book up at that site to maintain some sort of momentum. So I turned to my first Nanowrimo novel and thought I would just edit that and get it recorded.
Frankly, it sucked. I could barely read it, let alone edit it.
My fear is that I won't be able to see my poor prose and be able to edit it into quality literature.
As my fear about the quality of my orthotic work, my insecurity about my writing skill is likely the same. While editing my project this morning I came up with great ideas to clarify my verbiage, shorten my verbosity, and add life to my characters.
This novel is good and it's getting better.
Philip 'Norvaljoe' Carroll