We all have days where we doubt ourselves, put ourselves through a self-inflicted ringer, crushing our dreams before we have a chance to wake up and attempt to fulfill them. It’s part of being a human, experiencing this life. We can choose to learn from it or drown in it. Some days it seems almost impossible to rise above it—our mind reminding us we’re not good enough. We are.
I feel as writers we sometimes subject ourselves to this. Comparison kills joy. So what do we do when we’re constantly being compared to others as a part of our career?
Believe in yourself. Believe in your craft. Often times, when I doubt my words, when I doubt my story-telling ability, I remind myself why I started writing in the first place. Not publishing, writing. I began to save myself from myself, so there is no way something that saved my life will be able to bring me down. I’m a writer before anything else. Before I’m a published author. Even, before I’m a reader. Because writing was a tool I used when I didn’t give a shit about the rest. I won’t bore you with the details. You get the gist.
So how can something that helped me battle negativity be a negative in my life? It can’t. I just need to remind myself why I started. What’s my why. Flow with that why. Remind yourself about the passion you feel toward your craft and forget what others are doing. I come back to my core. To who I am as a person, as a soul, not as the public figure. I return “home” in a sense and write something that has nothing to do with my work in progress that brings me back. That reminds me about my writing purpose.
Who cares if someone is writing about such topic. Does that topic resonate with you? Yes? Great, write about it. No? Great, write the story you have in you.
It’s so easy to question plots, to judge our creativity, to shut down an idea because it’s not “popular.” There are readers for everything, thank goodness, and there are writers to write all kinds of stories, again, thank goodness. That’s the beauty of fiction—creativity is limitless. The unimaginable becomes imaginable through the magic of words.
Write what you know. Write what you don’t know. Hell, you want to use the word moist? Use it. Yes, some readers will cringe. Guess what, if your story resonates with them, they’ll overcome the use of that word.
Break the rules. Seriously, if you have an idea for a book and it doesn’t fit a mold, write it anyway. It’s easy to get stuck on trends, but if you force yourself to write what’s popular while it’s not your passion, this career will squeeze the life out of you. Though publishing is a business, writing is an art. Finding balance for both is key, but never compromise what’s in your heart.
*Spoiler alert: Not everyone will love all your books, so stop trying to please the outside world instead of yourself.