I think it would be prudent to describe what a self-fulfilling prophecy is for us folks that may not know.
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a situation where an originally assumed false expectation leads to its own confirmation by the actions of the believer.
One of the most classic examples of this is the banking scenario.
Most of us choose a bank because of several factors, but mainly for the convenience. We select a bank that is close to either work or home, offering the types of accounts that fit our needs. A lot of us have even established our first mortgage with that favorite bank.
I’d venture a guess most of us have done business with our banks so long the people know us by name and greet us warmly when we walk in or use the drive-through.
We love our banks, right?
So let’s say you’re passing by your bank on the way to the store and you notice long lines at the drive-throughs. You see even bigger lines at the front door.
You think to yourself, maybe your bank is offering an exclusively new product, and perhaps they’re giving away a free toaster when you sign up. Ignoring the fact you already have three toasters (one is actually a panini maker) and being the curious cat you are, you locate a parking spot and get in line.
You start asking folks about the product, and that’s when you hear things that send chills of fear running up and down your spine.
It seems as if your bank has invested in a lot of toxic loans lately, and it appears as if your favorite bank is going under, becoming insolvent and declaring bankruptcy and taking your hard-earned money with it.
So what in the world do you do now?
You stand in line with all the rest of the folks, the intention of withdrawing all your money and taking it somewhere else racing through your brain.
And what happens?
Yeap, you guessed it.
Your bank, which was never close to insolvency and had recovered on ninety percent of the bad loans, was now crippled by its own patrons and quickly becomes insolvent and is forced to declare bankruptcy.
You and all the bank patrons just brought about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Amazing how that happens, right?
So that brings us to our own attempts to create positive and sometimes negative prophecies. I’d like to say there are several ways we can create our own self-fulfilling prophecies as writers, but I can’t.
There are only two.
*We create a self-fulfilling prophecy that we will never make it as a writer.
*Or we can create one where we will.
Like I said, only two.
So let’s examine the bad news first.
Creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that we will never make it as a writer.
Ouch, that hurt just to type it.
We can do the damage to ourselves and we can do it very quickly, and most times without even realizing we’ve done it.
If we allow feelings of inadequacy and doubt to swim around in our heads too long, it will eventually cripple us. Don’t get me wrong, we all experience self-doubt and outright mind-boggling thoughts about our work at times. But if we allow these thoughts to bolt themselves to our brain permanently, we eventually begin to wonder if writing is even worth it.
It soon follows, and it happens more quickly than most of us think, we begin to ask ourselves why we even bother to write anymore. We feed ourselves a brutal daily dose of self-doubt and beat ourselves up about the fact that no one reads our stuff anyway. And because we finally manage to convince ourselves of this fact, we choose to stop writing.
So what happens when we stop writing?
No one reads our work.
We have just fulfilled our prophecy we will never make it as a writer.
Conversely, we have the other side of the coin. The supposed good news.
Creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that we will make it as a writer.
Although this is supposed to be the warm and fuzzy good news, I’m afraid this prophecy ain’t a bed of roses either. However, considering the alternative of stopping altogether, it does have its finer moments.
Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than just giving up and choosing to play solitaire on your computer.
This self-fulfilling prophecy takes more determination, more grit, more tenacity, more courage, and more intestinal fortitude — okay guts — than you’ll ever think to possess.
Around in certain circles, some will say it takes a whole bunch of crazy too.
A trait I proudly possess. There’s no way a man like me can endure raising four daughters and not be dipping a toe in the lunacy pool now and then.
But as usual, I digress.
This self-fulfilling prophecy is actually straightforward when you stop to think about it, but it can be, for a lot of us, the most challenging thing to master. Here it is, the grand scheme of things, the answer to all our prophetic dreams and aspirations, spelled out with three simple words.
For our self-fulfilling prophecy to reach fruition, we first need to start believing in the rumor mill of our own making, the rumors we tell ourselves that lead us to think we must, absolutely must, write every day of our lives.
Whew, what a truly daunting task that is, but remember the rumor mill folks? It’s what we have to tell ourselves to get there. And It may be a very long road to get there.
Then again, it may be shorter than we think. Because one day we’re going to wake up and wowzer, we’re there. Yes one day, this prophecy we’ve sold ourselves all these years will become a reality.
Some day hundreds, maybe thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people will read what we write.
That is if we continue to write — if we continue to believe in our own self-fulfilling prophecy — and keep creating it’s going to happen. It may be years in the making, but it will eventually take place.
Mark my words.
Keep writing folks and see what happens.
Let’s keep in touch: email@example.com
© P.G. Barnett, 2019. All Rights Reserved.