I wonder how many potentially awesome (insert whatever your passion is here) the world is missing out on because they’re afraid to share their gift with us. Fear is such an ugly thing, running around telling people that they aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough, aren’t unique enough, that their voice doesn’t matter.
Fear is a liar. An ashy, filthy liar.
So many times, I’ve sat down to write, only to find myself derailed.
Your writing will never be as good as ________.
You’ll never have as many readers as ________.
You’ll never do numbers like _________.
Or, perhaps worse:
____________ is never going to think you’re a good writer.
____________ is never gonna read your books.
____________ is never gonna think you’re good enough to sit at the table.
And you know what? I let those self-imposed fears paralyze me to the point that I started believing those things about myself, until I realized…. not only is fear a fucking liar, it’s a manipulator, it’s an abuser, it’s a …. dare I say… hater. The kind of thing that if I saw it hovering around, sticking it’s nasty little fingers on a friend, I would be quick to call it out, quick to rebuke it, but… when it came to me? Not so much.
I’ve spent a lot time over the last month thinking about (and implementing) improvements to my quality of life. Started eating better, taking better care of my skin, and I’m joining a gym. My husband and I are working on better communication, and making sure that we have a fair distribution of responsibilities. God willing, we’re on track to be debt free (excluding our mortgage, but that’s next) as early as July of next year. We’re working with Izzy on patience, sitting still, reading, all of the skills she’ll need for kindergarten next year. For Zoe, it’s potty training and colors and letters.
But when it comes to my writing, which I treat like what it is — my career — it wasn’t quite as easy to pinpoint where and how I could improve. Obviously, there are things to improve my skill as an author and storyteller. That’s not in question. What I needed was an improvement in my attitude. Not when it came to how I relate to others, because I very consistently hear from people (And this is not to toot my own horn, because it’s not about that.) that I was able to light a fire under them, that I was supportive, that I made them feel better, more confident about what they doing. That by taking the time to have these private conversations, to offer that encouragement, that I inspired something in them. That I helped to ease their fear.
Something I wasn’t even doing for myself.
So, I had to do some thinking. Some praying. I had to take action to dismantle the fears that I have surrounding writing, the pursuit of success, and work on building my confidence in myself.
Your writing will never be as good as ________. (Who gives a shit? First of all, this is subjective. There are plenty of books that I found dull, lacking in personality, and just plain not good. Guess what? Some of those books have 500 five-star reviews from people who loved them. I’m not writing to be as good as _____ because I’m not _____. I’m Christina. The only person whose writing I’m trying to improve on is my own. The only person I have to top is me.)
You’ll never have as many readers as ________. (Maybe not. But the readers I do have are top-notch, wonderful people with excellent taste ;). I wouldn’t trade the people who have, and still do support me for anything. I love you.)
You’ll never do numbers like _________. (Probably not. But I’ll continue writing the stories that I’m passionate about, about the people that I’m passionate about. The rest… kinda doesn’t matter, if I’m not being true to myself.)
____________ is never going to think you’re a good writer. (So? Who made them the authority?)
____________ is never gonna read your books. (So? Who made them the authority?)
____________ is never gonna think you’re good enough to sit at the table. (So? Who made them the authority?)
From the beginning, since I can remember, I’ve had a passion for books, and I don’t think that will ever fade. I love reading. I love writing. I’ll be damned if I let something as disgusting as fear, which begets doubt, which begets insecurities, which begets a lack of passion, which begets…. nothing. I refuse to allow fear to turn me into nothing.
Moving forth, I reject fear. I reject the notion that I have to fit any certain mold, that I have to adjust to who I am, what I write, how I write, etc, to be a part of a certain crowd. I won’t let shade about writing too fast, or putting out too many books, or needing to stick to one genre, or any of that make me doubt myself or my talent.
I will write what I want, how I want, when I want, for who I want, and I will do it without fear. And this isn’t just for me. No, not at all. In the immortal words of…. ‘Yonce, 😛 “And you can say what you want, I’m the shit. I want everyone to feel like this.” *Flawless hands* Seriously though. Fear (not this kind) has no place in our lives. Holding you back from your potential, keeping you stagnant, casting doubt on who you are and what you can do… man, brush your shoulders off. Fuck fear.
Let’s be fearless together.