I wanted to update you on my writing. I’ve had an extremely hard time getting any words down in any format. If I’m being honest, it’s to the point now where I’m questioning whether I really am a writer. Have I been kidding myself?
I feel like I’m at a huge turning point. This has to be some kind of moment that I’ll look back on and say, “That was the time I settled my worth as a writer.” How do I know though? I’m reminded of a quote in the movie Sister Act 2 When Whoopi Goldberg’s character was talking to Lauryn Hill’s character. In the movie she quotes a book called, Letters To A Young Poet. She says that, “a young man used to write to the author Rilke and say I want to be a writer, please read my stuff. Rilke says to him, don’t ask me about being a writer, if when you wake up in the morning, you can think of nothing but writing then you’re a writer.” She was using it as a motivational story for Lauryn Hill’s character who wanted to be a singer.
That scene has stuck with me. Why? Because I think about writing a lot. I get frustrated when I can’t put the words down like I want to. I feel inadequate. Yet, all I can think about is overcoming the things that hold me back. I want to make people feel things. I want them to remember my characters long after they finish my book. I’m constantly thinking about how to better myself as a writer.
That’s my problem. I’ve overwhelmed myself with these thoughts, so when I sit down to write I second guess everything I do. On top of that I can’t afford a good editor. I don’t want to put out anything that’s not my best. So I get pessimistic about my work and how I can offer to people when it’s sub par. I’m trying to read books that will help me edit my work. I have to say here though that as I’ve sent chapters of my new book to my subscribers here, I’ve got a lot of GREAT feedback from some fellow authors. These people are invaluable to me!
So the only thing I’ve written are a few blog posts here and there. Not nearly as many as I’d like. In a perfect world I’d be writing two blog posts per week and smashing out chapter after chapter of my book. I’m not in that perfect world. I ask myself over and over is it worth it to keep going? Can I handle another bad review? Am I okay with just a few people reading my writing? What do I want and expect to accomplish?
So, can I handle another bad review? I’ll have to. In my mind, when I get a bad review, it cancels out all good reviews. That’s some whacked out math equation, right? I know, I know art is subjective and not everyone likes the same thing. So I shouldn’t take it personally, but I’m human. As Mary Demuth says, you have to settle your worth as a writer if you’re going to make it.
Am I okay with only a few people reading my writing? While every author dreams of bestsellers, I can live without it if I have to. I want someone to be touched by what I write and if that happens to be 10 people or 1,000,000 people I’m okay with that.
I guess that answers my question of is it worth it to keep going. Yes! Absolutely. I can’t stop no matter what. I’ll always be writing something even if I were never to publish it. It also answers the question on what I expect to accomplish. I want to see people moved, changed, and touched in a special way with my words.
How do you overcome the doubts? How do you settle your worth?