Today during the summit I was reminded of a time when I was afraid to write.
I was afraid I wasn’t a real writer.
I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough, that folks would be bored by my ideas.
I was afraid that some stories that I had to tell would be too controversial and then folks would want to discuss the story and where it was inspired from and I did not feel ready for that kind of intrusive reflection on my creative process.
I was afraid my mother, like Rachel Lynde in Anne of Green Gables, would see herself as the star of any book I wrote.
(Naturally I would have to debate this and her demands for more favorable changes to “her character” while never believing “It’s not about YOU, mom!” would become the elephant in the room at all family gathering to come.)
Lastly, I was afraid that I would write something beautiful and enchanting and folks would love it. Then what?
(as I had hints on feed back that this could be the actual case, that I could when I put my mind and effort into it, hold my own on the page)
Why be afraid of this, you may wonder?
It’s simple, because what if I could never do it again.
What if I could not find the magical incantation for the perfect words in the right order to cast a spell of a good story told, over the reader a second time or third, etc?
What if I wasn’t afraid? What could I accomplish then? And where did all of this fear come from anyway?
I was no coward in life. This was beneath me and my general belief system and yet I was paralyzed by it.
I have heard the same is true of others and their struggles to write, too.
After great consideration I believe it comes from the desire to cut close to the bone in one’s depth of story telling.
To want to convey the raw emotion of each character as truthfully as fiction can be told.
I know that often comes from the most vulnerable of places within the author, drawing upon what has touched one’s own heart.
Creative writing is its own passion.
To be passionate is to be wide open to the experience. We want so much for it to be only a good one.
The prospect of these ideas taking on a life of their own is scary.
It is as scary as having watched your child grow and now they are moving out in to the world for the first time on their own. A place with out your control.
The fear is real, the world can be a cruel place to adapt to and flourish in.
Then I realized I was throwing away my dreams to nurse my fears, and I was miserable over it.
“ Your fear is 100% dependent on YOU for its survival. ”
- Steve Maraboli
The change happened in small epiphanies and connections I had made about “where was all this doom and gloom coming from?”, but mostly it happened when I made the commitment to myself to write no matter what comes of it.
Good or bad, I would live the adventure.
I hope anyone else out there struggling with imposter syndrome or any kind of self doubt knows that you are only one commitment to yourself away from writing the story that only you can tell. Remember you are safe and among friends here.
Have you ever felt this way and how have you worked to solve it?
Does being a part of a positive writing community feel like part of that solution?
Have you never felt this way? If so what’s your secret to such peace of mind and confidence?
Y’all have any favorite quotes for writing inspiration that you could share here?