“but i’m not a real writer” (and other stories you tell)
A couple years ago a friend of mine (a dj, a teacher, an artist) texted me that he was thinking of writing a book. To which I responded with either exclamation points, expletives, or a phone call he was not expecting. Or maybe even some combination of the three.
Dare I say, I’d known him for nearly 20 years in my little circle in part because he’s ridiculously creative. From music to art to storytelling, (though, isn’t all creativity some form of storytelling?), his creative expression is something witnessed with adoration.
And yet, when he asked if he could send me some pages for feedback, (and I responded with an emphatic of course!) it was met by:
“Shit. I was hoping you wouldn’t respond so I wouldn’t have to send it…”
Followed by panicky GIFs and:
“Don’t judge me. I’m not a real writer.”
“Ignore the mistakes. I only teach 2nd grade.”
He’s also kind of funny.
After reading, I was honest and told him what I already knew to be true- you’re a great storyteller.
Because he is, and so are a lot of people who embark on the wild ride of writing a novel or book.
But before I shared my feedback, before I even read his pages, I said, “you have something real to say, and you should say it.”
That’s what I say to any writer who has an idea they simply cannot shake. An idea that follows them through rush hour or playgroup, standing in the produce aisle or in the shower. It won’t let go of you because it’s waiting for you to release it.
Self-doubt, procrastination, self-sabotage- they’re all fancy ways of saying you’re afraid. Afraid of judgement, afraid you might suck, afraid no one will care. There’s a lot to be afraid of when you put your entire being into something and present it to the world with hands outstretched. “Here is a gift. I made it for you.”
You might even be saying, “here is my heart,” “here is my life,” “here is my story...and I’m giving it to you.” And yeah, with that kind of vulnerability and transparency, who knows what you’ll get back in return.
But chances are, if the idea gripped you, someone else in the world can relate. Someone else in this world is waiting to feel seen and heard in your gift, your heart, your life, your story.
So how do you push past fear, and all the
stories you tell yourself that keep you
from writing (and finishing) your book?
You don’t. You work through it.
You decide that you are going to finish anyway. You sit or stand in your favorite writing space, and you think, take notes, listen to music, you research and you write.
You say, “yeah, I hear you, Doubt, but I’m too busy to entertain you right now. I’ve got things to do.”
Like be of service to someone in need. To help that someone you may never meet, or speak to, or see, but who is infinitely grateful that you worked through fear and finished.
Finish writing your book and build confidence in your intuitive introvert strengths by signing up for The Library, a growing list of complimentary resources including a flexible outlining/writing process; worksheets for character, scene, and chapter development; playlists and more.