The Writers Angst

What is this annoying, insidious angst that permeates my psyche? In all other regards, I'm a moderately confident guy. I'm secure in my abilities to be a good father, husband, employee, friend, gardener, etc. And, heck! Lots of folks tell me I'm a good writer. I'm passionate about my writing. I consumed by my stories. I can't stop, can't envision life without it.

Yet, I have this persistent fear that I will be "outed" as a fraud by the next highbrow literary critic that comes upon my work. Even though complete strangers have given surprisingly glowing reviews to my first (and worst) book, even though my readers tell me otherwise, I can't get over the fear that a "real" writer will some day come along and renounce me, sending banishing me into the netherworld of faux writer fools who tumble around with ridiculous stories and are woefully inadequate when put to the task.

I know it's absurd. I've told friends, many friends, who write beautifully, that they are writers simply due to the process. If it's in your blood, if you can't stop, if your day is filled with the details of the next chapter, if you write for therapy, then you are a writer! You don't need a degree in English Lit or Composition to qualify. Heck, my degree is in Engineering. You don't need a degree, period! And yet, I have trouble applying that philosophy to myself.

I guess I have been slowly improving. Having taken part in an author's fair, having been called a "local author" by newspapers and radio hosts, having been dubbed "Genesee Valley Writer," has helped. As I receive more and more reviews from strangers (those who don't "have" to tell me I'm good), the anxiety has lessened a tad. But still, each time I know someone is reading the book, this annoying worry niggles around in brain. Will they like it? Will they see through me and spotlight the flaws? Will my still-fragile author ego be smashed?

It's so silly. I really hate it. I have to stop caring that when I've bared my soul to the world, it might get trounced on, smashed, and spattered with criticism. I guess it's time to admit... I am a "real" writer. And that's a step in the "write" direction.

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.legardemysteries.com

Aaron Paul Lazar resides in Upstate New York with his wife, three daughters, two grandsons, mother-in- law, two dogs, and three cats. After writing in the early morning hours, he works as an electrophotographic engineer at NexPress Solutions Inc., part of Kodak's Graphic Communications Group, in Rochester, New York. Additional passions include vegetable, fruit, and flower gardening; preparing large family feasts; photographing his family, gardens, and the breathtakingly beautiful Genesee Valley; cross-country skiing across the rolling hills; playing a distinctly amateur level of piano, and spending "time" with the French Impressionists whenever possible.

Although he adored raising his three delightful daughters, Mr. Lazar finds grandfathering his "two little buddies" to be one of the finest experiences of his life. Double Forte', the first in the series, was published in January 2005. Upstaged, number two, is in production. With eight books under his belt, Mr. Lazar is currently working on the ninth, which features Gus LeGarde and his family. http://www.legardemysteries.com

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