I've always wanted to be a writer. As a teen I found joy writing little stories and poems. My grammar and spelling was horrible so being a published author wasn't something I thought possible. About ten years ago I started writing seriously. At first I didn't believe I would ever publish. I didn't think I was good enough. When people asked if I was working on something the answer was always, YES! I sounded excited and it was a real thrill to share my ideas.
But if someone asked if I was published, my head would turn, my countenance would change and I'd softly reply something like...."It's almost ready" or "It's done but I'm in the process of sending it out." Both of those remarks were code for "nope - not gonna happen anytime soon".
I've told you about meeting Vikie Crumpton of Baker Books and how she encouraged me to "just do it!" She inspired the feeling of urgency. She helped me to feel "challenged" to get my work out there. Still those questions nagged at me. What if I'm not the best? What if I make a mistake? What if it isn't that good? What if....what if....what if...?
Quit your Day Job, by Jim Denney is packed with tons of helpful tips and writing ideas. If you don't have his book - get it! He's also very encouraging. In his last chapter he discusses the enemy of writers. Enemy No. 3 is self-doubt. The following is quoted with permission from Jim Denney's book. Later this month he has promised to do a blog interview with Just Write.
"Self-doubt is the most common to all writers' afflictions - more common than writer's block and carpal tunnel syndrome combined. Self doubt is really a form of fear. We are afraid of what we might find out about ourselves - that we are not as talented or brilliant or creative as we thought we were. We are afraid of rejection - that editors and readers will see our work and condemn it (and us with it). We are afraid of failure - that we will put our work out into the marketplace, and it will be a resounding flop. Most paradoxical of all, we are afraid of success.......
To be a working writer, you must overcome those fears. A working writer willingly accepts the burdens of success and chooses to live courageously. Understand, courage is not the absence of fear. It is doing what you have to do despite your fears. And that means that you persevere, you press ahead, you write, disregarding your fears and self doubt."
As we all look forward into 2009 and all those writing challenges and writer's conferences - let's pray for courage. Courage to get our writing into the hands of editors and publishers. Courage to have passion about what we write and courage to "just do it"!
You are called to write,