Writers are dangerously susceptible to self-doubt and fear. Every time I see it in the blogosphere, I want to give the whole community of my fellow writers a collective hug. You guys are amazing! Do you know that?
Here’s a little something to try next time you’re feeling down. If we can’t fully shut up the voice of doubt, let’s counter it. I learned this from the owner of my hometown newspaper who gave a presentation in the middle of arguably the toughest era for print papers.
She opened by saying, “You really shouldn’t have asked me here today. Subscriptions are down, ad revenue is faltering and our paper is seriously struggling,” but then (and this is the most important part, so pay attention), she went on to say “Here’s why you did ask me here today. We’re among the top papers in the nation, we’re at the forefront of online and mobile app content, and readers love our web stories so much they’re willing to pay for them. Very few others are accomplishing that in the face of difficulty.”
It was a powerful juxtaposition!
For us writers, our lists might look something like this:
Why someone should steal my pen, burn my MS and never let me write again
- I’m not good enough.
- I never will be.
- I can’t finish my WIP to save my life.
- I have a stack of rejections high enough to wallpaper my writing space.
- Plotholes abound! And I don’t know how to fix them.
- My characters are flat and uninteresting.
- Everything I write sounds so cliché.
- I’ll never be like JK Rowling or Stephen King or…
- __Fill in the blank___
If you or any writer you love has ever said or thought these things, stop, breathe, get your fingers away from that delete button and read on.
Why I am a writing superstar and will one day own the best-seller lists
- I AM good enough.
- And if I’m not right now…I will be!
- I’m plugged into an awesome community of writers, and I’m working on my craft in some small way every day.
- I’ve been blessed with an imagination that creates entire worlds (Seriously, how cool is that? For this alone, we should be so grateful to be writers.)
- I’ve written tens of thousands of words. Not hundreds, not thousands, tens of thousands…maybe even hundreds of thousands! (Most people would run away from that screaming!)
- From simple words and paper, I can spin characters (or places) that people care about (Think about that for a minute. The only reason anyone knows anything about these characters is because of YOU.)
- People are actually talking about my writing. (If you have betas of any kind, it’s true!)
- I’ve written phrases and lines so uber-awesome they’d rival the best authors in the game.
- __Fill in the blank__
Now, buck up little writers! Just because we have struggles or failures doesn’t mean we are failures.
You’re greater than what you think or fear you are on those darkest days.