I've started about fifty posts in the last twenty four hours, and not made it past the first paragraph on any of them. They all seem too trite or petty or something else that makes them not appropriate to share.
But I've had this thought rolling in my head for a while, and something triggered it again today, so I'm going to share. There is a quote that's been floating around the internet for a while.
Because we want other people with taste to enjoy what we've created, right?
Do you remember some of the first times you shared your writing with people? How amazing it felt to hear them say "This is really good". Or "I loved this." Or "You've got talent." Or some variation of praise. For your work. Do you remember how that felt?
In high school, I had a couple of short stories that were published in school literary magazines. I still have copies. I look back at those stories and cringe at how bad they were. But my teacher appreciated them enough to pluck them from stacks of other stories and print them for the school to see.
Once you get that praise, you get the idea that maybe you could do more of this writing thing. It becomes an almost addictive feeling. Wanting more people to read, more people to 'get' your vision. To say "you're right, I really enjoyed this."
And that's where the journey toward publication kind of begins. "Well, how do I get my work out there?" and that's inevitably when the first criticism really hits hard. We think "I'm good" and someone comes back with "No, you're not."
For me at least, that's when the self-doubt really started to set in.
But here's the thing to keep in mind: if those first people liked it enough to read it, to praise it, and to ask for more, there's something there.
It may not be as honed as it can be yet, mostly because it never will be because we'll always grow and learn as writers and artists if we allow ourselves to. But there was something in your writing, your voice, your delivery, that made someone else go 'WOW' and mean it.
So yeah, it may be hard work. But look back at how far you've come. Even if you're tempted to say 'but I just started'. It doesn't matter. You started. You took it to the next level. You're pursuing that talent that impressed those people.
And there's a feeling of accomplishment in that, right?