As you all know, if you have read my earlier posts, I am not the most confident person in the world. This has its upside, of course, it means that no matter how much I receive criticism it will never be as much as I give to myself! The downside is I often build my own ‘obstacles’ so that I don’t try because I am afraid to fail.
So on my journey through social media, I joined several ‘writing’ groups on Facebook. Some of these are really fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved what I have so far without them. Yet some of them give me a cold shudder.
There are often hundreds and hundreds of posts from people who say that they want to write but cannot find the opening line, or they ask for critique on a piece that they have written, or they ask for ideas for storylines – which all in all is fine if the advice that comes back is constructive, but alas, some is not. The typical response is;
“You shouldn’t be a writer.”
Whilst I am an advocate for ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion’, I often wonder how I would feel if I received this advice. I have always wanted to write, and as I have said before, I am by no means a ‘seasoned writer’ nor do I ever expect to wake up one morning and feel as such. I have a HUGE amount to learn and every time I write something I learn something new. It’s the doing that creates the learning.
I feel nervous every time I check my Amazon Report and see a number of downloads – I wonder what someone will think, I hope that they like it, and I panic. I could avoid all that of course if I just didn’t do it in the first place!
But if I didn’t do it, how could I learn? How brilliant would it be if we could ‘hatch’ from an egg and know everything and be at the level we all want to attain? Firstly there would be no programmes that featured people ‘Before They Were Famous’ if we could!
I worry that some people might give up on their ‘dream’ because they are told to do so by a stranger who lives millions of miles away, who may, or may not, have the experience to be able to make such a statement. I picture a forlorn figure packing away text books, pens and laptop because they have been told they ‘shouldn’t be a writer’.
I know that some people will hate what I write (shudder and sniff), I know that some people will spot mistakes that I have missed, I know that you can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can please some people some of the time. Most importantly I know that I enjoy writing. I enjoy creating characters and worlds from my head and then seeing them come to life on paper. It gives me such a thrill and I love it.
If you are passionate about something – go and do it. Always have your mind open to new ways and always be open to learning new things. Then even if you only achieve half of what you set out to do, at least you can say that you tried.
So when you feel like giving up it’s always best to have a quiet word with yourself and ‘try’ – that’s all you can do. After all, I have never met anyone who said;
“I am glad I never failed, purely because I never tried.”