I spend a great deal of time worrying about what others think of my work. Will they like it? What if they think it’s horrible? What if they laugh at me? I also spend a great deal of time waiting for emails that never come, news from literary agents, saying yay or nay over some project, or an email from someone, somewhere, telling me that the story I wrote made them feel. Something.
Because if we don’t believe in ourselves who will? Toni Morrison once said that if there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Write it! So from now on that’s what I am going to do. The fun has been taken out of what I love so much because of the incessant worrying about what other people think, and the worrying about whether or not I will be one of the lucky writers. One of those who “makes it.” Well guess what? From now on, the stories I write will be for me. The stories I want to see that just aren’t out there in the world yet. And if people don’t like it I can’t change that. But what I can change is worrying about the things that are out of my control, and that is whether or not people like my work or think it’s worth it, or even if they think it’s crap.
Being a writer isn’t easy. It gets easier over time, but never easy. But I write because I can’t help it. These characters live and breathe everyday, and I write them because they demand it. So today, I say to you believe in yourself. Because if you don’t. Well, you know the rest.
You can find a list of other IWSG members here. Please visit some of the wonderful blogs listed there and offer a word of encouragement to another writer.