I fear mediocrity.

High school valedictorian.  Summa cum laude in college.  Overachiever to a fault.

And oh how I compare myself to others!

… and a writer.  What a devastating combination.

I love to write, and I have this burning desire in me to be an EXCELLENT writer.  There is a fire lit beneath me, and it keeps me writing and reaching and trying to hard to do something incredible with words.

But sometimes it feels so futile.

What if my best is not excellent?  What if my very best– all that I can possibly offer– is okay?  So-so?  Mediocre.

It drives me wild.  It makes me want to climb mountains for the answer, whatever that looks like.  Going back to school.  Getting more instruction.  Reading more books.  Reading the right books.  It makes me frantic.

No, I tell myself.  You are growing exponentially.  You’re 10 times better than you were in college, when you were 10 times better than you were in high school.  

But I still feel scared, frenzied, nervous.  Everyone seems to write better stories– funnier characters, better diction, cleverer plots, smarter concepts.  I want to somehow breathe in wisdom and then exhale with my fingertips on the keyboard, letting something beautiful happen.  Not just beautiful.  Exquisite.

Instead, it’s okay.  Even good.  But I want to be a great writer.

What if I give all that I have … and it’s only okay?

I don’t want my life to be a waste.  I don’t want to be mediocre.





12 thoughts on “I fear mediocrity.

  1. Um, Jackie… stop. Truest is a work of art, seriously my favorite YA book I’ve read recently. Outside of Harry Potter, there is no other YA book that has made me care so much about its characters.
    Mediocre? Okay?
    Your poetry is breathtaking. Your stories aren’t just well-crafted, they are exquisite.
    Keep reaching. Keep striving. But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking your writing is anything but incredible.

    • Thanks Mary. I’ve just gotta climb out of this hole. I know I whine too much, but I get in these FITS of anxiety, and it helps to write about it … so my blog, Facebook, etc. gets to hear all my worries aired out.

      I appreciate all your encouragement more than you can know.

  2. If what you’re expressing isn’t a writer, what is? Your passion and your drive to write beautifully is exactly – at least, I think – what you need to be a writer. I know if I didn’t have this, I wouldn’t keep writing. But I do. So I do. Inspiring!

  3. As hard as you work, and as much passion that you bring to your art, you will never be mediocre, Jackie. You’re already an excellent writer! You will only get better and better.

  4. Pingback: a whole new way to look at things (and myself) | lightsallaround

  5. Pingback: This Week Has Been Whoa | Jackie Lea Sommers

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