Why do you want to write? There are a lot of lessons I have learned over the years as a writer. I’ve learned techniques to improve the way I write, I’ve received advice to help me market, and I’ve even received feedback to help confirm I was on the right path.
Why do you write?
Is there a story burning inside of you that will not go away? Have you lived through something and came out on the other side against all odds? Is there a truth you believe so deeply you want others to hear?
There are many reasons why we choose to write. I’ve doubted myself too many times to count. I’ve heard others doubt themselves. So, before I start writing about any tips or tricks to help our skills I want to start with our hearts. It may sound silly but the heart is where good stories come from.
- Write for Yourself
Stop worrying about whether or not you’re going to make the best seller list or even sell a thousand copies. Write something you are proud to share. Write something you believe in. There will be editors and critics to face later. For now, pour your heart out and see where it takes you.
- Protect Your Heart
I made the mistake in my younger years of listening to some bad advice. People gave me negative reviews of some things I wrote. Some other people shot down some dreams I had. This negativity caused me to doubt the thing I loved most-writing. Which ultimately made me doubt myself. I threw out stories and poems and with all those papers I threw out a part of myself. When you allow someone to read your work do this- listen respectfully to what they have to say. Do not get angry and do not hang on their every word. They may tell you good things, they may tell you bad things. Do not let either phase you, do not take either to heart. Instead take everything they have to say and evaluate what you have written. Is it lacking something? Be honest. What can be improved? Is it really amazing? Or did you hold back?
- Don’t be Afraid
Don’t be afraid to grow. In the beginning, I was so afraid of everything. But most of all, I was afraid to succeed. I would often pull my wings close to my chest rather than spread them wide to soar. As you can imagine, this action sent me plummeting to the ground. I would have pretty good days and I would have absolute horrible days filled with depression and anxiety. Who was I trying to be? What was I trying to achieve? Why was I even trying? Do not allow yourself to be plagued with self-doubts. Keep your eyes on the horizon and embrace who you are- a writer. When you do this, you will fly!
- Accept Who You Are
Life can be intimidating. Someone comes along and they seem to have it all together. They start spouting off a bunch of really smart things and suddenly you question why you have the right to write. This ties in a bit with #3- don’t be afraid. I’ve had to accept that there are always going to be writers out there who are more knowledgeable, better spoken, and better equipped than I am. It’s been a hard lesson but in order to press on despite all those who are better in my field I’ve had to narrow down the competition to one-myself. I cannot be anyone but me. If I try to be someone else, I will soon be miserable. If I try to compete with someone else, I will also find myself miserable. For that reason, I had to accept who I was. I was a writer. I would write whether millions were reading it or only a handful. I enjoyed entertaining others through the words I wrote.
Challenge for You: Take a moment to evaluate your motives. Are you allowing the opinions of others or the success of others to drastically change the way you write? Are you still finding joy in writing or finding yourself bogged down in a competition you hadn’t realized you entered?
Just like an artist, you have to find what makes you write. What is your special area of interest? Find it and don’t let go. Enjoy what you love to do and protect the unique style flowing from your heart.
Write for yourself, take nothing to heart, don’t be afraid, and accept who you are.