Do it anyway

I’ve been writing all my life, and sharing with others since about 2014. The process has been one of fits and starts because there are a lot of excuses to not fight through the labor of creation. I had dinner with a writer friend recently where we discussed the process, and she asked me what most I like about writing. I confessed that I don’t write because I enjoy it, because I generally don’t. I write because like a moth to flame, I am compelled by something outside of myself, drawing me back to the blank page, imploring me to share a perspective that’s uniquely mine.

I’ve talked about the Inner Critic before, and how “nobody cares what you have to say” is a hard place to write from, but even harder is getting over what I think other people must think of me, after having heard that I’m writing for years and never producing something valuable. There’s a deep sense of failure here that I am unsure if I would look past if it were someone else in my community saying, “really, this time!!” Why should I expect different?

I poured out my insecurity to a friend, who replied, “I feel you, keep going. They have to see you to love you.”

Her assurance felt so personal. I consulted with other creatives who confirmed they too are always wondering if it’s just too late now after so many false starts to win “buy-in.” It seems anyone who has tried anything has made public declarations we were unable to make good on, for any number of reasons. We all live with that embarrassing sense of failure that says we missed our shot and to ask for the faith and support of others is too much to ask for now.

But you can’t be loved by people who don’t know you. You can’t help anybody if you don’t put your thoughts out there. You can’t influence a society you no longer participate in because you are beating yourself up for not starting sooner.

Even if you missed your opportunity before, there is another on the horizon. There are people who’ve waited a long time for you to flourish as they watered your work with their prayers, and there are others who are waiting to become your biggest fans. Failure and embarrassment are hard. Create anyway.

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