Some people out there who read this are going to think this post is too “happy.” Some of them are going to respond with remarks like, “Being optimistic doesn’t work in the real world” and “Why would anyone let someone they care about waste their time on a dream that’s never going to go anywhere?”
If you’re one of those people, I’m sorry. I feel sad for you. But while I often write posts on this blog that are meant to give aspiring writers hope and confidence in their dreams of putting ideas into words and publishing those words for all to see, I will never – not EVER – lie. Is writing always fun? No. Is it easy to write professionally? No. Is everyone who tries going to publish a best-selling book? Um, no.
But that doesn’t mean people are for some reason therefore not allowed to write.
Writing can be a job. It can also be a hobby. It can be an emotional intelligence booster of sorts. It can be a coping mechanism for grief or sadness or frustration.
Writing may, right now, be nothing more than a dream to a lot of aspiring writers. But just because it’s a dream and this is real life does not mean that dream cannot become a goal, and that goal cannot become part of a much bigger success story someday.
Writers: I know how you feel. Not all the time, but sometimes.
Lonely. Ignored. Unappreciated. Like you keep putting all this hard work into what you’re doing and it doesn’t seem to matter.
I know, in those moments, it’s very easy to believe that every person who has ever told you writing was a waste of time, or not for you, or whatever variation you’ve heard, was actually right all along.
They weren’t. So here’s the secret to confidence and getting more writing done, whether those around you believe you can do it or not.
Tell yourself, over and over and over, that YES, someone out there DOES want to read what you are writing right now.
YES, someone DOES care.
YES, your words DO actually matter.
But is it true? Honestly, that’s beside the point here. And no, this is not considered “lying” to yourself or “wasting” your own time just by letting yourself believe that what you are doing counts. No one should ever tell you otherwise, but in reality, there are plenty of people out there who will. There are people out there who, for their own personal and selfish reasons, will try to talk you straight down and out of dedicating your life to writing.
How do you avoid letting them get to you?
By telling yourself, over and over and over, that writing is IMPORTANT to you and you LIKE doing it and there is NO real reason why you should quit.
Telling yourself these things once; twice; even three times probably won’t change anything. Sometimes self pep talks work, and sometimes they don’t. But the more you tell yourself that your work matters and it is worth your time, the more effort you will put into it, and the more confident you will be.
Does this take time? Everything having to do with writing takes time. If you’re not willing to wait years – yes, YEARS – for your writing to make some kind of impact on the world, big or small … I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell you. All I can do is ask you this: what’s the rush? Why does it have to happen NOW? What’s so bad about waiting – really?
YOU. ARE. A WRITER.
You cannot LIVE if you cannot WRITE.
Anyone who tells you that you do not deserve to LIVE is NOT worth paying attention to.
Do you love, want to and NEED to write?
Then do it. Even if there’s only one person out there who finds it. Even if it’s already been written, even if you’re not sure whether or not it’s any good.
If you ENJOYED it, it’s GOLDEN.
Repeat after me.
I am a writer. I have a voice. My words are important. My work matters.
I deserve to enjoy doing what I love. And I’m never going to stop, no matter what.
Get it? Got it? Excellent. Now get back to writing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
Image courtesy of Flickr.