Every day it seems there are more status updates on Facebook by writers and bloggers that feel like outright bragging. These writers boast about how many words they’ve written or how many blog posts they’ve produced in a given day, over a weekend, or squeezed in between carpooling and CrossFit.
That in some instances these writers are even paid for to write must mean they are real writers, right? That somehow they are more real than the rest of us. Making matters feel worse, in the comments silly awe and admiration is expressed at the fact that these writers produce so many publishable words. The saddest thing to me is when I see comments from others wishing they could be more like these prolific boasters.
If you make it your practice to put pen to paper or fingers to keys on a regular basis, you are already a writer. Don’t worry that it’s a struggle – it’s supposed to be. Only worry if you catch yourself believing that your trite first drafts are worth bragging about and measuring your writing in word counts.
Most importantly, never wish to be more like anyone other than your self.
Own it all and please keep writing. Keep fighting to express those things that are on your heart that only you can say. The vast majority of words out there are similar and unimportant. Admire openly the work of those you really admire.
Sure it’s okay to write articles and blog posts that won’t set the world in flames, but when you can, push just a little harder to put that ding in the universe. Resist personal myth making and to protect yourself, recognize it in others. Never let it make you feel “less than.”
You have just as much right to the word, “writer” as anyone.
Your Sensitivity is a Gift
Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”
― Dorothy Parker
Of course you want to write for an audience, but there is a problem. You want that audience to like everything you write. Thus you do one of two things:
1. you perfect things too early, taking all the magic right out of your writing
2. You don’t write at all.
Your ability to see things from different points of view, your uber empathy, has always been both your gift and your curse. Much of the time, you are not so sure you can handle that.
A human barometer, you suffer from an abundance of caring and awareness of what’s going on around you. You can probably think of many instances from your life where being this way was at best, painful, and at worst, downright embarrassing.
Sometimes you just wish you could make yourself a bit more comfortable. You wish your human barometer could come down to somewhere in “the normal range,” whatever the fresh hell that is.
Because even if someone is looking at you, they are mostly too busy thinking about themselves to even be thinking about you at all. And even if he or she is looking at you “funny” or with a certain “tone of voice,” it is his or her problem, not yours.
Any reaction anyone gives to you or your writing is always is a reflection of them, not of you. And by the way, learning to think this way is the same thing as “getting boundaries.”
Maybe in your next life you will be someone neater and less sensitive – in “the normal range” and more appealing to the masses. But would you really want that?
Take those narratives you are so good at spinning in your head , pick up a pen and spill, spew, spit – have at it. If your editing hat with the voices of every English teacher and editor you’ve had in your life,noisily tries to rest on your head, imagine picking it up and tossing it like a Frisbee out the window. It will be there later.