It’s so difficult to objectively assess the quality of your own work. Is being an English teacher a help or a hindrance? When the day is spent surrounded by some of the best n literature that the English language has to offer, and when you’re spending the day exploring, other people’s writing, sometimes it perhaps isn’t as helpful as it might be.
Assessing your own work is hard: it’s why so many people recommend leaving a gap between writing and editing, to help you see the flaw and mistakes, and give a clearer view of the value that’s there too
But on objective measures, I think my writing generally is good. I get good feedback, from those I share it with. That isn’t many people – a few friends and occasional colleagues, some online contacts. A writing competition or submission here and there – but those are far, far rarer than they could be. While competitive success isn’t the sole measure of inherent value, it is one objective measure, and I have been successful – when I actually show my writing to people.
It’s easy to put yourself own, focus on the poor construction or the difficult transition. It’s easy to write off success – “Well, I knew the person running it.” “I was just lucky.” “It’s because I’m local.” “Clearly, nobody else entered.” All excuses I’ve used on receiving a congratulatory email, to make myself think that they were, for some reason, just taking pity on me. When actually what I should be sternly telling that voice in my head is: nonsense. Why would they waste their time on something in that way? They’re not your mum or your best friends, they’re professionals getting their job done, and they picked you. When a friend takes the time to comment, the voice should be saying “fantastic, well done! How easy it would be for people to stay silent if they didn’t like it.”
I write because I think that’s I’m not good enough. It’s not the same as it being true.