Writerly Things 1/13/20: Making Excuses Not to Try
Are You Where You Want to Be?
Have you reached all your goals? Is there still one more or a few to go? For years now, I’ve strived to be published. It wasn’t my time, I know. There was still a lot to learn. What kept me from doing so earlier? Those stiff rules for one. You know the ones. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. A lot of wasted time unlearning that. Next, thinking I knew what I needed to. Way off. Each day I learn more than what I did before.
This is a BIG staller. I didn’t want my family/friends/others to see what I’d written because I might suffer embarrassment, failure, whatever. Though I still care what they think. As I age, that doesn’t hold me back anymore. Everyone that steps toward that spotlight embraces fear. Some just handle it better than others. That you feel it doesn’t make you less. Or that you shouldn’t step forward.
We all experience rejection. This writing business is BIG on that. Not every story, poem, form of writing you do, will make it. There’s going to be a drawer or a chest or a wall filled with rejections if you pass go. No one is immune. No one garners acceptance after acceptance. Even the biggies. Stephen King almost gave up. J.K. Rowling faced years of “No thank yous,” till she garnered interest. If you put words down in some form, you will be rejected sooner or later.
You can lie to others. Not yourself. ARE you writing? Or just poking at it? Are you fixated on research to avoid putting those words down? Do you constantly accept things to do outside the home so that you can avoid writing? Would you rather watch TV? Do the dishes? When you find yourself enthralled with housework do you regret—even a little—that you’re not honing in on those stories?
Do you remember the first time you heard a story? How it held you in its power, it’s truth? That’s what you need to examine: your truth. Do you really want to do this? Make a career out of it? Or do you just want a scrapbook of memories to frame? If so, there’s an easier route nowadays to such.
If you want to endear another person with those feelings though, you’ve got to work at your writing. You’ve got push forward past pride, past humiliation, past everything. You can do this! If you want to. It takes practice, practice, practice. Most importantly, reading. Yes, reading. The more you do so, the more the words will flow through you onto the paper or screen. Your stories are important to the readers. You’ll never know whose life you’ll change just by opening up a document. I know my life has been changed by various books I’ve read. Some gave me the will to go on. Some opened up new worlds to me. Won’t you do the same for another? So, stop the excuses. Decide what you want to do, who you want to be. It’s never too late.