Dear Insecure Writers,
I like to think I do something extraordinary. I'm writing a novel. It's not a fancy one, with Deep Ideas about Human Nature. Not that there's anything wrong with literary fiction. At all. But I'm not sure I have that fibre in me. I leave it to others, with a better understanding of what makes us human. And while sometimes I'm afraid of people judging me for writing commercial fiction, it's not my biggest fear.
No. I'm afraid they will judge me for writing in English. Quebec's fight for French preservation is old and never-ending. I am proud of my language, of its lyrical sound, of its peculiarities and culture and warmth. I love it. But often, so often, I feel like I'm betraying it. So many words on a page, in English, trampling on a heritage I ought to defend.
You have to wonder if I'm a hypocrite. I fight for French's correct usage, I preach its presence at work even in English-dominated domains (hello, science), and I believe in immigrants learning it, along with English. French is an integral part of what Quebec is.
Yet when it comes to writing, an art so deeply tied to language, I write my stories in English.
When asked why, I don't know what to answer. Sorry. That's how the story spills.
But I know I will be judged and critiqued for it. And I'm afraid, so afraid, it will come from my family and friends. That they'll be impressed that I can, disappointed that I did.
I'm starting to go public with my writing life. Every step – every new person I tell – is terrifying.
I can't express how good it is to have you at my back. You're welcoming, reassuring, energetic, helpful, everything! Thank you for being here.
P.S.: This is part of Alex J. Cauvanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group, every first Wednesday of the month. Your writing community is a great support for your fears, insecurities, problems. Don't be afraid to call on them, or to help your fellow writers. There are amazing people out there.
P.P.S.: I forgot to mention yesterday that you can vote for the pieces of flash fictions? I'm #214 on the list, if you wanted to go that way. :)