-I am participating in the Writing Contest: You are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.
As a writer, self-doubt is the largest and most treacherous mountain to climb. Displaying your inner thoughts for all to read takes a risk that can feel like bungee jumping. You hold your breath and pray the giant rubber band snaps you back to earth. However, the rush is amazing, and the rewards when your words make a connection are boundless. It just takes a strong stomach and belief in yourself to conquer the terrain that stands in your way.
Writing has always come easy to me. It didn’t matter what I was writing, letters, essays, term papers, speeches, they all came naturally, and I knew it, and loved it, I took pride in it, but understanding it and sticking to it has been the area in which I struggled.
My inspiration would come in bursts, and the energy I would feel when I would listen to the voice that flowed through me when I composed poetry, stories or just journal entries was a force I could not explain. Unfortunately, just as compelling the force was to write, as was the ability to walk away when that same inspiration would fade into the night from disappointment, confusion and frustration. As a writer, the written word in my style and my personality is incredibly satisfying, it’s therapy, my center and the place that allows me to be the person I am here to be. It’s extremely personal to create something from that part of yourself that no one else but you can see. It’s also intensely personal when those creations are not appreciated by the outside world, even if that rejection is in your own mind.
To be creative, for me, meant no boundaries and no background noise as a distraction, meaning no real work behind the scenes of what I was creating. This is a beautiful idea unless you wanted to write for a living, or at least get your words out there for everyone or anyone to read and fall in love. This was where my trouble would begin. Truly understanding what to write and how to get that writing to a reader was like stumbling around blind in a maze of wonder, every time I thought I found my way, I would hit another wall. I knew I had this natural ability, but I felt I was forcing my hand in one way or another. I would dip my foot in fiction, poetry, short stories, my own story, you name it, but when it was a cold reception, I ran. I would be convinced the world was against me and that if only they would listen, they would be amazed. I was arrogant and impatient, and in my mind, I felt my effort was enough, but maybe I wasn’t, and the words vanished. As protection from the pain, I would stifle my voice and quit.
It took life to bring me to realize that all those worries of rejection and ideas of self-doubt were my own, in my mind only, and not the truth of reality. The reality was I didn’t research, and I didn’t open my heart and my mind to the support and the love I was receiving. I was closed off to the endless possibilities if only I gave myself a chance. It took a shift in perception to open my eyes to see the path that lay in front of me, accept the true gift this life had given me, and show me that honoring that gift was how I wanted to live.
The moment I realized that the boundaries I despised for my own creative mind, I had built within myself was the moment I changed my thinking and the reason why I was writing. I started to listen to the voice I had silenced, the voice that whispered to me in the quiet moments telling me I was here for a purpose, a purpose that only I could define, and I did, I was a writer. All the times before I ignored it, and pretended not to hear because it was easier, it took less effort and less courage, and not to mention the chance of being scorched by the icy reception became slim to none.
When I changed my thinking, believed in the writer I was, I changed my why, and when I changed my why, everything changed. I was no longer writing for the likes, or to be liked, or for money or fame, I was writing to share my voice with others, to inspire them to believe in their truth and to honor their gift while I honored mine. The words are there, they are part of who you are. When you listen to that voice within, connect with your why and believe in your purpose, they flow like a river. Listen to that voice, honor your gift and write for who you are and how you want to live.