When I began writing, it was just for the fun of it – to try something new. As the craft progressed and I began to make a bit of money at it, writing took on a different level of significance. It began to intimidate. I had many reasons not to write – fear of rejection, fear of putting myself out there, fear of not being an expert – but my goals, ambitions, and lifestyle choices always come back to writing.
It’s commonplace to get bogged down and find the reasons not to engage in an activity or a task. That would be the easy way out. Instead, I took some time to reframe and refocus my fears and look at a few reasons to write. Ready? Here we go…Five Reasons to Write:
- Rejection – Rejection is not, “No.” It means, “Not yet.” Receiving a rejection slip allows a writer the chance to reflect on how to improve, change, or accommodate their writing to a specific market or purpose. It offers the writer an opportunity to hone their skill, study a bit more, and pump out a stellar article.
- Vulnerability – Putting yourself out there is a scary venture. There are critics in dark shadows hiding everywhere waiting to pounce and criticize your work, and you. You don’t have any control over other people, so your choice, then, is how you respond. Hear the feedback, be yourself. True fans will embrace the real you. Along the way, you’ll even discover who you are.
- Failure – If you don’t write, you will fail at writing. You really don’t have anything to lose, and you might get ahead. Thomas Edison was once asked how he felt about failing 10,000 times before creating the light bulb. He reportedly said that he hadn’t failed. Instead he found 10,000 ways that didn’t work. It’s about perspective. So get out there and fail. It will bring you that much closer to your goal.
- Sheltered – You haven’t traveled the world and you aren’t a Cuban cigar aficionado who knows how to pair a good stick with a fine port. Or maybe you don’t know all there is to know in the wild and crazy world of stamp collecting. You have a world to discover through your writing, and get paid for it. If you aren’t an expert in any topic, become one. Read, research, and study until you have a good grasp of a subject. You might be sheltered now, but you’re going to learn a lot from the comfort of your computer and the local library
- Money – You won’t have a regular income. You’re probably right about this, but as you progress as a writer you will have opportunities to expand your income. Your current job has you on a fixed income – salary, or set hours. Writing allows you to define your schedule and make your time count for so much more than your life as an employee. It’s realistic to meet your current income and even surpass it…if you stick to it. Isn’t that what you really wanted anyways? Start off writing while you already have a job. Work hard at it. Build your reputation, your portfolio, and your future.
There you have it. Every negative thought you have about writing, freelancing, even life in general, can be changed or adjusted to have a positive slant. Reframe your situation. Re-focus your thoughts. Get out there and do it!
Everyone has a story. Will yours be short and stunted because of fear? Or will you embrace the challenge that lies ahead and make yours a blockbuster?