Here’s the truth that will set you free
Every writer faces her worst fear at some time.
Even the name sounds awful. There’s a barrier between you and your creativity. Your imagination has to scale a wall that is three feet thick and made of Kryptonite.
What’s a writer to do?
Realize it’s not true.
We tell ourselves lots of lies.
Or maybe we just repeat the ones other people tell us.
- “You’re not good enough to write a book.”
- “Who do you think you are? God’s gift to storytelling?”
- “You’re a writer? What a nice hobby you have. Better keep you day job (followed by laughter).”
Sometimes we greet these accusations with nervous laughter. Yeah, sure. I know you’re right.
Or maybe you get mad. I’ll show you who can’t make it as a writer.
The biggest problem is that we attach emotions to everything. When you’ve been hit hard by a setback (your manuscript or guest post was rejected), you wince when someone puts you down. You might get cautious about telling people you’re a writer for a while.
In this post, we’ll look at the three most common lies writers tell themselves. And we’ll give you ammunition to fight the good fight and keep writing whenever these lies strike.
Lie #1 — Nobody cares about my writing.
This is only half-true.
Everybody cares about themselves first. Everyone. From your mom down to your best friend.
So how do you break through that barrier? Is there any hope whatsoever?
Give people what they want.
Help them solve a problem. Give them an escape from the ordinary. Show them that their lives can be better and show them how easy it is.
You can do that, can’t you?
Here are a few more things you can do:
- Reveal a secret. They’re irresistible!
- Share a life hack. Who doesn’t want to save time or money? If there’s an easier way, share it.
- Point out what’s wrong with the world, and how things ought to be.
- Give people something to laugh about. There’s no better stress reliever!
When you give people what they want, they’ll know you care. Then they’ll start caring about you and look forward to your next piece.
Lie #2 — My ideas suck.
They don’t ALL suck.
You’ve probably confused a bad idea with an unrefined idea. There’s a world of difference.
A good idea is one you let simmer in your brain for a while. Maybe you talk with your friends and coworkers about it. You could look online and see what others are thinking and saying.
Then you weigh in with your best insights.
You may not win over the whole world. But you might win some, and that could be the beginning of something great.
What if your idea bombs anyway?
Tomorrow’s another day. Press on with something new. Your readers probably aren’t as worried about it as you are. And they’ll move on, too.
Consider it a learning experience.
Lie #3 — I can’t even think of anything at all.
You can’t? Or you haven’t tried?
Here’s a hack that will open up your mind and let the creative juices flow like a waterfall.
Instead of coming up with just one awesome idea, why not come up with 100 ideas? They don’t have to be great. Just set a timer for 10 minutes and write down as many as you can.
When you’re done, you’ll have a mess.
But there might be some gold in there.
Maybe you’ll have enough ideas to write every day this week.
Give it a try whenever your creative well runs dry.
Now Stop Lying and Start Writing
Start today. In fact, start right now if you can.
The sooner you start stretching and flexing your writing muscles regularly, the sooner you’ll become a great writer.
How do great writers become great?
- They write a lot, even every day (or several times a day).
- They push themselves to do new things regularly. You don’t grow by building a nest in your comfort zone.
- They publish stuff that’s still a bit edgy. Editing is good, of course. But overediting can erase the life from your writing. Be careful out there.
That’s it. At least it’s enough to deal with as you spread your wings and fly to new heights with your writing.
Now go make the difference you were born to make with your words.
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