I love new writers. Naïve, passionate, slapping words together at a feverish pace. Often pantsers, their unbridled confidence is awe-inspiring. I wish we remained in that glorious state, certain we are writing best sellers and that readers will love us.
For most writers authordom is a long hall. Seasoned writers find themselves in deep ditches for longer than they’d like to admit. Plunging to the surface is a welcome sight. Weight lifted, words tumble from our minds onto the page. Experience gained through these blips make us better writers. Stronger writers. When the crud (it will be thick crud) buries our self-confidence, remember the truths gained along the journey.
You know you can fix problems in your writing
Once you’ve learned your craft and laid down a fair number of pages, and received useful feedback, a wonderful thing happens. You realize you can fix problems in your manuscript. The relief is mind blowing. Your boundaries expand and you breathe in confidence.
Your opinion counts
Earn your street cred (or crud), meaning share your work with others, seek opinions, and other’s perspectives. Become an expert in your genre. Dive into craft books. Even if only to refresh. Then, when criticism comes your way, your opinion holds weight. Because it comes from a place of experience and knowledge.
You have something to say
Have you tried not to write? Writers are a unique breed. They must write. Consider this a litmus test. True writers are unstoppable. And rightly so.
Naysayers deserve a shove to the curb
Lean into your abilities when challenged. Each writer is unique. Each opinion is subjective. Learn to peal apart negativity. See it for what it is. A suggestion or resource should follow a healthy negative comment. Otherwise the giver has no license to muddle in your writing. I often find truth in criticism. Sometimes it takes a while to see it. Most times I don’t like it. Listen. Still, if said naysayer brings you down, edit them out of your writing life.
You have talent
Anything, And I mean anything you’ve written is an homage to your talent. Read over a favorite piece now and then, remind yourself of why you write and what you’re capable of creating. I’m certain you’ll impress the heck out of yourself. Could be just a word, phrasing or delicious description. Take it in like nourishment. Enjoy the feast.
These truths assume your adult hat is on. Seeing truth is difficult when emotions bubble to the surface. Joe Friday on Dragnet (a show I occasionally watched) used to say, “just the facts, ma’am.” Consider the above truths facts.
If you focus on the facts, believing in your writing is possible.