Updated: Jun 23, 2022
I love to write, but it can feel scary at times.
It's all fun and games, until I start to think about other people reading my work. For a long time, I kept all my words safe and sound; wrapped up neatly between the bindings of my notebooks.
Because when I start to think about people reading my work, I begin to think about what people are going to think of my work.
And when I start to think about what people are going to think of my work, then I start to think about how much I want people to like my work.
When I start to think about wanting people to like my work, I start to think about what words I need to write to make that happen.
And when I try to think of all those words and the perfect combination that might elicit that ever tempting but ever elusive goal of pleasing everyone, my mind just goes blank.
I end up with a severe case of writer's block and a really twisted writer's edition of "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.'
To share my words, is to share a piece of myself. A piece of myself that people can interpret however they choose and that is scary!
When I write I have this extra little voice in my head and as the fear grows this voice gets louder. It's the nagging self-critic who tries to protect me from ever making a fool of myself by graciously pointing out all my flaws, and boy oh boy, is she good at her job!
She finds every single little thing wrong with my stories, with my characters, with my grammar, with my thoughts, beliefs, words, breaths, with my very existence!!!
She kindly reminds me that I am but a small speck of dust in an eternal universe that has no right to believe they are capable of creating anything of meaning or value, so I might as well just crawl back into bed and relieve the world of having to deal with my pathetic attempt at living.
And in the past I would promptly respond, "Oh dear wonderful nagging critic, you are right. These words would do much better, hidden in the back of my closet somewhere collecting dust. Thank you for your infinite wisdom."
But something happened last night that shut her up. It was a breakthrough that I thought was the sweetest gift from the One who speaks truth over our lives and over the lies.
During my severe case of imposter syndrome, I did what all dedicated writers do and began procrastinating. The task I chose to hide behind this time, was organizing my Canva account. I began creating folders for all my work so it would be easy to access in the future.
Not a total waste of time, right?
While doing this I came across a small Instagram post I had created months ago. It read, “You are creating the new. Take deep breaths. Learn to trust in the building. God is working.”
That message was exactly what my soul needed to hear in that moment.
I realized something as I read those words. I realized that the person I was months ago, wrote a message, which spoke to the person I am today. And that message changed my perspective.
That is the wonderful, magical, telepathic, time-travelling, supernatural power of words!! Had I never written those words, they would not have existed in the future when I needed them most.
When I begin to wonder what everyone else is going to think of my writing, all of the words shrivel up. But when I write the words I need, the words I feel called to write, the words that create characters I adore, and worlds that light my imagination on fire, then I find joy. I find passion. I find a gift that I am incredibly grateful for.
How wonderful it is to write the stories I love, the messages that speak to my soul, the words that feel authentic and true. And then how much sweeter is it when those same words connect with another?
So, I think it's time to stop worrying so much about everybody else. (Even though I love my reader so much that it hurts to even write those words.) But I must write for an audience of One and trust that the words He is entrusting me with, will be enough.
Because once the words are out of me, they are available for the future me to stumble upon, in moments like this.
Then if those same words happen to inspire you too, that is just the most delightfully sweet icing on any writer's proverbial cake.
And who doesn't like a little frosting?!? Bon appetit!