Aside from being a neurotic bunch of creative people, we’re often either our worst critics or a lot of times, our worst frenemies.
I suppose it’s the nature of our gig. And though the first thought in my head as I wrote this line was to slap in a worn-out idiom about some territory our woes come with, I decided rather than weaken an already wounded lead, I’d try to say what I want to say without it.
You see, these self-deprecation tendencies we writers continuously deal with are part of the problem.
Aside from not being able to write worth a d*amn.
And that, my friends, is the gist of this message.
As a writer, always wrapped up in a stifling blanket of impostor syndrome, guilt, and feelings of never being good enough, do we really believe what we write is worth reading?
A lot of us don’t. Although it doesn’t keep us away from the pen or the keyboard, each time we produce something, we tell ourselves we could have done much better. We allow various shades of troubling doubt to creep into our heads and take up residence.
The problem with creative artists is we all, at times, possess a lack of confidence in our own abilities.
Although we were passionate about writing the piece, and it felt so d*mn good as we wrote it, when we finished, we looked at it and wondered if the work stood a chance in h*ll of flying. The problem with creative artists is we all, at times, possess a lack of confidence in our own abilities.
A lot of us, h*ll most of us, don’t honestly believe in what we conceive.
I’ve discovered a lot about myself on this writing journey of mine. When I think back to my early days of novel writing, I wrote with my emotional heart out on my sleeve. It wasn’t uncommon for rejection to simply tear me to pieces. It’s only now I understand why.
The days of not believing in what I was conceiving stretched into weeks, months and years.
It was because I wasn’t sure of myself, and I sure as h*ll wasn’t sure of my writing. Back then, I didn’t buy into the fact I had any talent (in those days, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a whole lot), and I didn’t really believe in my ability to tell a story. The days of not buying into what I was conceiving stretched into weeks, months, and years.
Even in the early days of writing here, I didn’t believe in what I conceived. Oh, I wrote tons of articles, don’t get me wrong. But with each, I tried to be cute, tried to be coy, tried all the little clickbaity tactics I could think of to get people to read my work.
I became bold with my writing. Even provocative at times.
I tried everything except getting down with my bad self and writing from the heart. I tried it all except believing in myself and my ability to get the point across.
There came a day when I finally told myself it was time I stopped caring if the world thought I was a crap writer. Maybe I was. Perhaps I am, but so what? I stopped being timid and started believing in what I conceived each day.
I got down with my bad self and just let her rip.
Let the thoughts and emotions fly free. I never stopped to worry about whether or not what I wrote was good enough. I became bold with my writing. Even provocative at times.
I stopped doubting my ability to craft a decent story, and the most beautiful thing started to happen. I started writing palatable stories.
Just by getting down with my bad self and letting it rip. Whoda thunk?
Now I’m certainly not a poster child for the writing community. I’m probably more of an FBI most-wanted poster at your local post office. I know. I know. With our current predicament, you can’t go inside.
Trust me. My picture is probably there.
But the point of my blathering is that if you or anybody else is going to call yourself a writer, you need to start believing in what you write, what you conceive.
There are a lot of folks out there more than happy to criticize your work, your ugly baby, so to speak. If you don’t have faith in all the hard work you’re doing daily, neither will they. And they’ll let you know it tout suite.
Do not ever let the naysayers dictate how you feel about your own ability to write.
You need to get down with your bad self, you radically gnarly, righteous thing and conceive it, then believe in it.
Thanks So Much For Reading
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