A lot of writers, actors, directors, in interviews you’ll hear them say something along the lines of: “I’m just waiting for everyone to find out that I’m a fraud.” Last night’s dream was especially this, for any writer. It’s a high-level fiction workshop. The teacher, a writer of highly literary novels that have never sold well (and maybe he hadn’t published on in a while), goes through his critiques of two other writers’ work. The critiques are pointed but not devastating. And then he gets to me.
It is devastating. He asks where I grew up. I say “western Maryland” and on the chalkboard, he writes “Rural concerns.” Then he asks, not really me but instead the class, “Mr. Sawyers, do you have any concrete plans to actually step away from the bus stop and answer any real questions?”
So it’s always there, the doubt. I’ve got to assume it won’t ever go away.