There’s one sentence that always haunts a writer’s mind. Am I good enough? Our stories, which is a part of us, are almost like our children and it’s scary that they cause us to wonder: Am I good enough? Even if it’s the story that needs to be fixed, the blame gets thrown at the creator, the writer, the I. Am I good enough?
I’m not sure when I first asked that question. I know I asked it throughout middle school and high school. The question got larger as I went on to college. It’s a looming effect over everything I wrote either for school or for this blog or for myself. It doesn’t help that no one teaches us how to make the question go away.
It’s not enough to have another writer or reader say you are good enough, because those are their words and not yours. Their words can lift your spirits for a few minutes, or hours, or days, but the question always returns. As a writer, the question will never leave.
I don’t think it’s a terrible question either, at least not all the time at least. It’s a question that asks if we’ve done everything we could. It helps writers sit back and remember that they’re human, so not everything is going to be perfect. It reminds us that we can’t create masterpieces every time.
Being human means making mistakes. Some of our works are going to be mistakes. Some of my blogs are mistakes. Some of my short stories are mistakes. Some of my novels may even be mistakes. But it’s learning from those mistakes that makes the difference. There’s a point—for everyone—where we can look at what we’ve created and say it’s good enough. It’s a steep climb and rollercoaster ride of emotions away.
But after the climb, the breathtaking view is worth it.
You’re on the right track if you ask yourself the question. Am I good enough? It’s okay to ask that question. Am I good enough? You’re human. Mistakes happen, but from those mistakes, you can build masterpieces.