To everyone that writes out there I want you to know that I have faith in you.
I may not know you, I may have never read your work, but if you love to write like I do, I feel a kinship with you, so therefore I have faith with you.
I understand some days really suck for writing. Some days you can’t look at a white screen without getting nauseous or anxious. You post a poem or a flash fiction on your blog or journal and you don’t get any likes or comments. The world seems quiet and you feel like no one is paying attention to you, no one gets you, and it’s the loneliest most awful feeling ever.
Some days you may even want to give up writing altogether.
I’m telling you now – don’t do this to yourself.
Keep writing, even if one person in the whole world reads it and appreciates it – keep writing. Keep writing so much that people can’t help but stumble upon your work. TALK about your writing to others. Talk about them to your loved ones, your friends, and strangers on the bus or train.
If you’re an introvert – well, try to have bursts of extraversion and TALK about your writing. SHARE it. Don’t give up.
But remember this – don’t have high expectations of others when it comes to your writing. Don’t expect everyone to love it, rave about it, and tell you that you’re the best writer they’ve ever encountered.
The only one you should have high expectations of is yourself. The writer in you needs to write like you need to breathe. The writer in you needs practice, as well as gain exposure to other groups of writers to learn basic writing formulas and structure, grammar, and critiques. You need to expose yourself to how others write and what they think of your writing in order to develop a sharp mind and a thick skin.
You need to have a high expectation of yourself because you believe in your writing, you know you can work through the pain, grief, anxiety and self-loathing and someday become confident and strong so that criticism HELPS you, and flames and nastiness bounce off you like nothing.
If your feelings get hurt, learn to be the bigger person and move on. Learn to accept that not everyone is going to like your work. It isn’t personal. If it IS personal, then maybe it’s that person who has issues – not you, because you’re strong, you’re a rock star, and you write 1000 words every day, and read other books, and go to the local writing group on Wednesdays.
Do what you need to do to be the best writer you believe you are.
When you share your work with others, and you engage with other writers and readers, you form relationships. You need to be genuine and sane, and for gods’ sakes, open your mind to their writing and opinions. Writing is never a one-way street. You don’t fling your work out there like pasta on the wall and expect it to stick to everyone’s favor. Engage with your followers, writers, and readers and become a real person to them. Don’t expect too much out of them, but try to be receptive to what they like and do. Share and have opinions. Encourage others and engage with them at a real, personal level.
I say this because forming a one-sided relationship in life never works. It can’t all be about you and not anyone else. You have that thick skin now, so you can talk to others and not let small things bother you that you’ll turn into a drama llama and then block and flame them on your posts. Remember when I told you to be sane?
The only person you can disappoint is yourself, and that’s how it should be. If you disappoint others and it cripples your writing ability so much that you want to quit writing forever, I wonder if it’s really important to you.
How important is writing to you exactly? And how important are you to yourself?