The biggest challenge of writing (or making art), is not the writing itself, it’s you. You are your own biggest challenge.
The crippling fear that YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH comes in many shapes and sizes. Here are a few:
The biggest one. The voice in your head when you pick up a pen. It tells you, that’s not the right word or you don’t have the skills/vocabulary/ideas or even, what makes you think out of all people that you can do this?
I’m cliché and others are better
Whenever you try to begin a new project, you look at it in its infancy and think to yourself that you’ve seen this before, it’s been done, and you quit.
Why would anyone believe that I’m a writer?
This one is partly true. Because no one will believe it if you don’t. Also, no one becomes an “authority” on the craft without starting somewhere. Just ask J.K. Rowling.
I thought my work would be better than this
This is where fear thrives, in result rather than process. So of course, when you think of only the result, you are disappointed.
What to do?
A lot of my students ask me if their work is good enough, if they should continue. I tell them the truth, always. It’s not the work, I say. The ideas are the easy part and they come naturally. The problem here is you. You are not allowing yourself the time and space to be the artist you were meant to be.
Just let go. Keep working, keep writing, keep doing, and then will you achieve work that you are proud of.
I’m not going to lie to you, though, even after decades of practice, that negative voice in your head persists, but at least by then, you’ll be able to dim it into a faint whisper, mostly because you don’t have time for it.
You’ve got work to do.
Ira Glass gets it:
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