Author / Authority

large_4485740950What gives YOU the authority to write?  Not a nice question, but it’s certainly one writers ask ourselves.  I’m asking it afresh as Hannah, Delivered heads to the book stores next month.  Was I deluded to think this novel belongs in the world?  Surely I’ll be found out to be a fraud!

I’ve yet to work with a writer who doesn’t question his or her right to tell a story, or to devote tremendous time revising it, or to launch it into the world.  A colleague of mine wrote a gorgeous memoir which her agent had difficulty selling.  At long last she got bids from two different publishing houses.  Later she told me how relieved she was.  “If I’d only gotten one offer, I’d have thought they made a mistake.”  I found my colleague’s comment deeply disturbing, but indicative of the strange mental games writers play with ourselves to convince ourselves we really do have authority.  One pat on the back’s not enough, but two?  You’re in! (more…)