So another week has gone by, and I’m wondering if you’ve let it tell you who you are.
Writers have a sixth sense – they’re observers, emotionally sensitive and often keenly self-critical. They’re also competitive and hard on themselves. That sixth sense can feel punishing in a world that doesn’t often feel good to be in. It’s easy to live a week and reach the wrong conclusions about yourself. Especially when you’re struggling to develop your voice, or wrestling against the necessities of life.
Where were you in your week? Did you star in it, or were you a bit-player? Did your week inspire you, or did it take you down and kick you in the guts?Embed from Getty Images
Where was your writing this week? Did you snatch a small moment in which to soar, to dream, to create? Or did the week put a blanket over your head and stifle everything out of you?
If it was the latter, remember this. You aren’t what the world tells you that you are. You are what you define yourself as – and because of that, you hold your future in your hands. As a writer, nothing is wasted – not the tears you shed in your life, not the struggle against rejection as a writer, nor the disbelief of those closest to you. Every experience you have can and will feed your art if you let it.
The only thing that makes a writer is writing. If you stopped this week, start again; get back on that horse, that bike, that ride. It’s ok to stop because it’s hard, or because you stopped believing, or because you doubt that you’re a writer. Doubts don’t make you not a writer; they make you human. Losing hope is part of life; so is finding it again. Don’t be afraid of either.
Writers write because they love to write. Doing what you love in life makes you a more whole, more effective person. No one else can sing your song or walk your walk; get going again, because your path is waiting for you.
So, if this week saw you struggle out a few words, unsure of yourself, and then close the coffin lid of judgment upon them, rethink. What if you took the lid off, and didn’t judge yourself? Just for once, just for a change?
And if someone else judged your writing – even someone whose opinion you value, what if you took that opinion and consigned it to the dustbin? Remember, some of the greatest people of literature were once or many times told they couldn’t write.
Whether your talent is ‘big’ or ‘small’ is not for you or anyone else to judge. Because each time you write, you don’t know who will read those words, or what their effect will be. That’s the thing about words – they have a life of their own. You’re a conduit for possibility each and every time you write. Acknowledge that, and get back to your keyboard, your notepad and pen.
What if you went into next week thinking ‘this week I will write, I will find myself in my situation, good or bad, and be present with myself through it’?
How does that make you feel about the coming week? If you knew that whatever the week threw at you or demanded of you, you would still meet yourself with a paper and pen. Even for a minute or two, while you sat on the train or queued for lunch or when you came back from a run.
Make the most of the small moments this week, and see what happens. See if you can meet yourself in them, be true to your dreams in them, acknowledge possibility in them.
And let me know how it goes.
What do you believe about yourself at the end of this week?
What could you see in yourself at the end of next week?
Let the adventure begin.
© gvons 2015