If we only wrote for ourselves, would we write more often? If we didn’t worry about what potential readers thought of our words, would we experiment with them more freely?
Often times, we hold ourselves back from writing what we want to write because we’re afraid no one else will want to read it. It’s not some mysterious phenomenon; it’s part of the infamous Life of a Writer. Published, unpublished, experienced, novice—everyone is afraid that paragraph they wrote three days ago is agonizingly uninteresting.
Why are we afraid we’re boring? Why does it stop us from getting words written? And what do we do to overcome it?
We Want to Be Heard
Or, we want to be read, and for our words to be understood. So it makes sense: even the idea that what we’re writing won’t be interesting enough to captivate an audience is enough to stop us from writing at all.
What we need to realize is there are readers out there who will find our words interesting. They will listen to what we have to say. It doesn’t matter if it’s just two people out of the multi-billions of them out there. It’s someone. That’s an adequate place to start, don’t you think?
We Want Our Words to Promote Change
Everyone wants to write a story, poem, book, article, something that changes the way people think about a specific topic, theme or idea. The reason we write at all is because we have a lot to say, a favorite medium to express it and the drive and creativity to turn it into a final, tangible product. We don’t want it to just sit there on our laptops until our hard drives give out. We want someone to read it, and understand it, and do something in response to the message.
It’s hard to swallow, but in reality, if you change one life, you’ve won the ultimate prize. We have to write and promote our work with the mindset that somewhere in a sleepy town at the edge of some city in Neverland there is someone who has just read what we wrote, and has been inspired to act as a result. It might only be one person. They might never say to our faces, “Hey, thanks for that.” They weren’t bored by what we said. That has to be enough. So …
We Have to Be Brave
That fear inside us, the one that says, “This isn’t interesting, no one will ever read it,” doesn’t have to stick around. For goodness sake, if you like airplanes, freaking write about airplanes. There are people out there who couldn’t care less about them, but does that matter? Should that stop you from writing what YOU want to write about? Of course not.
Not everything we write is going to be good, or interesting, or publishable. That’s just the way the process works. If we got published or praised or retweeted every time we wrote something, we’d miss out on half the thrill of writing for an audience. What we write matters. Maybe not to every person on the planet. But to someone. Somewhere.
Perhaps, as writers, we’ll be braver, stronger, better, if we support each other.
Has the fear of being boring held you back from completing a writing project? Comment below. Don’t be shy. And if you want, reply to someone else’s comment with a few words of encouragement. We all face this fear, in big and small ways. We can overcome it. We CAN change the world—with words.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.