We all have doubts. Especially when we start wondering if this whole writing thing is really “our” thing.
Is this really what we’re “meant” to do?
Is this where we really belong?
The thing is … if you’re supposed to be a writer of any kind, you’ll know.
People who belong to the creative process, in a sense, have something others don’t. And it often isn’t all to do with how good you are, or even how motivated you feel.
That’s right. It’s not about how skilled you are (or aren’t) right now. It isn’t about whether or not other people read or enjoy your work. It’s not even about whether or not you “feel” like writing all the time, or enjoy it every second you’re doing it.
It’s about that craving, that desire, to write things down. To tell stories, to bring ideas to life. How even if you tried, you couldn’t get rid of it. It would still linger, waiting for your hands to move. Begging you to release the creative energy building up within you.
Yes, you need to reach a certain skill level eventually to achieve success as a writer. Other people do need to resonate with your content in some way, or you won’t grow. And you do have to find some way to do it and enjoy it, or you’ll never stick with it in the long-term.
But to truly know if a hobby or career in writing is worth pursuing, you have to pay attention to that deep, underlying need — that pull to compose. If it’s there, you’ll know it. Because even on your worst days, when you physically or mentally can’t, part of you will still wish you could. Still hope that you’ll be able to get back to it sooner rather than later.
Some people love the idea of writing, of publishing something, of making money doing something that seems so effortless on the outside looking in. But as soon as they reach an obstacle that is not easily cleared, they’ll give up. Without the hunger, there isn’t anything to motivate them to keep going.
Anyone can write. But not everyone is built to sustain the ups and downs of the creative life. Not enough to go from an idea to publishing something the world can’t stop talking about, anyway.
Do you feel the urge? Do you ache when you can’t write? Do you feel somehow more alive than usual when you dive deep into the flow? Then this is it. This is your thing. You are here because you’re meant to be. And you can survive. You can thrive. You can write things that matter. As long as you keep doing the work. As long as you lean on your drive to create — especially when it feels like nothing else can propel you forward.
Don’t question whether or not this is yours. If it matters to you, it belongs to you. Embrace it. Open yourself up to it. Do the writing thing, not because you have to or because it’s expected of you, but because you aren’t you without it. And that’s totally OK.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.