Because writing is such a solitary pursuit, unless we writers have someone to vent to, we can lose our perspective and objectivity, especially where our own writing is concerned. And while we know that everyone’s path is unique, sometimes we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking.
When that happens, the voices in our heads pontificate, and we believe them.
Here’s what the voices are telling me right now:
- What I’m writing is not very good.
- I’ll never get a book into print.
- If I haven’t broken through yet, it’ll never happen—I’m too old.
In my darkest moments, I believe it. I’m ready to quit. I’m ready to pivot. I’ll be a reader, or a quilter, instead. I’ll spend my time practicing piano. I’ll throw myself into Zentangle, or drawing, or painting. There are so many better ways I could spend my life, so many things I’d rather be doing.
I love all those things. I squeeze them in. In between my writing.
I’m addicted to writing. I hate it. I love it. I can’t not write.
So I remind myself:
- I’m a better writer now than I was a few years ago. I keep growing.
- Writing is a challenging career. The most important ingredient of success is perseverance.
- Some people take a longer time than others to reach their goals.
So, why am I writing this? To vent? A little. But also because I know someone out there is hearing those same discouraging pronouncements from the voices in her head. I want to say, I’ve been there. I know what you’re going through. Don’t give up. Write for yourself. Write for that one person who needs to read what you’re writing. Trust that someday, some way, your words will get into that person’s hands.
Don’t believe the lies.