How to Overcome Writer’s Doubt (3rd Place)
Read Chelsea’s essay below the picture…
How do you overcome Writer’s Doubt?
You Start. Stop procrastinating. Shut your mouth, sit down and write. (Click to Tweet)
Stop Googling everyone who is already doing something. Don’t read any more how-to writing books. No more stalking your competition.
Since six years old I knew I was a writer. Filling up blank pages and writing fiction stories in that old pink little journal. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I was told I wasn’t good enough. I was told that I didn’t have what it took.
How was I told?
By those red script marks on each of my papers as they were criticized and critiqued. I was corrected in sentence structure and description. I was told “nice try” and told to move on.
The red marks were not only written on my paper. They were written on my heart.
What I really wanted to be ended up being thrown under the rug. I was embarrassed I didn’t have what it took to be a writer. I mean, that’s what all those red marks were all about, right?
So the secret stayed within myself. I loved writing.
I’ve had journals since nine years old, hiding my secret instead of speaking them aloud. I dreamt of becoming an author. Day-dreamed of writing for magazines and publishers across the country.
Then I grew up.
With every job I participated in, I was always finding ways to incorporate my writing. But they were never welcomed ideas. Yet again, my words were pushed aside and that red marker made permanent marks on my heart.
I threw the dream away. I finally believed that those red marks, marked the truth about me.
I had no potential with words. Everyone else was better. Everyone else read everyone else. No one was interested in what I had to say. I was worthless. Useless. and the big one; not good enough.
Until recently. The dream came awake from hiding deep in my soul.
I closed my eyes and let the day-dreaming begin. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I welcome the feelings of excitement and inspiration flood over me in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, this dream was really part of who I was made to be.
I sat up from my bed and took in a deep breath. I was bracing myself for the slap in the face I knew was coming. I was sure this was just a fantasy suffocating me from the responsible adult world that I needed to participate in.
To my surprise, healing words washed over me. I was listening to an interview of my favorite author and she gave us the advice her professor in college told her. “Never, ever, stop writing.” I sighed in relief, opened my journal and put those words down.
Never, ever, stop writing! (Click to Tweet)
It was then that I began to write. Really write. Not just in my journal. I finally allowed myself to finish writing the fiction I started when I was twelve years old.
I began following blogs that inspired me to write. I looked for writing communities. And I started to ask for feedback that would help me, not hinder me.
My first blogs posts held encouraging comments from writing classmates that said I was funny! They even said they were looking forward to what I’d write next!
This was healing for me. Not the comments in themselves, but the ability to write without fear of what people were going to say.
All I had to do was put it out there confidently.
One of the bloggers that I follow wrote a post that told me something incredible. He said “Introduce yourself as a writer. It will change your life.” So, I started writing it out.
My name is Chelsea, and I am a writer.
The next month, I quit my job. Not because I was making good income. No, not at all. But because I knew where I wanted to be and realized I had been killing my dream due to thinking I didn’t have talent or ability.
I will not live my life in that lie anymore.
Everyday there is a point where you have to accept yourself for who you really are. (Click to Tweet)
Not the person people expect you to be. But as the person you know you are deep in your soul.
Are you a writer? Then believe it!
I had to stop thinking about those red marks, and whether or not people were disgusted by my jumbled paragraphs. I had to stop remembering all the time that the writer I thought sucked had made the A+ list.
Every day I have to remember that I have my own voice, my own opinions, my own perspective. I’m different. You’re different.
And some people need to hear it. Not from anyone else but YOU.
We are not responsible for another persons happiness. We are responsible for ours.
I had almost killed my dream of being a writer by allowing others perspective of success tell me I’d never arrive.
Now, I don’t care! A lot of people will dislike what I write. Their words have the potential to cut me at the core. Yet, I know now that this is me. This is where I’m supposed to be.
Let’s not forget why we love writing. It’s not about the money. It’s about the calling.
Writing is a calling!
One that you have to accept for yourself. You know if you’re called or not. If you’re not, then get out of here and find your true passion! If you are, you can feel that burning in your heart, that excitement in your belly and that thrill in your mind that dreams really do come true.
Just Write. Believe it, and do it.
Join me in congratulating Chelsea in the comments. ~Bryan
Second place will be announced on Sunday, the 19th, and First place on Wednesday, the 22nd of October 2014.