We've all had moments in our lives when we've had to step up or be stepped on! Whether it was a bully in school or an incident of intimidation later in life there is a commonality that binds us…we were afraid. Physical and psychological fear for ourselves in particular is hardwired into our genetic makeup, the "flight or fight" analogy is well documented and familiar to us all.
The worst thing about such incidents is often the self recrimination in the aftermath of the actual event. We feel shame, doubt and loathing at our actions, (or lack of) giving even more power to the perpetrators of our angst. So how do we overcome such obstacles?
As writers, we collectively punish ourselves in much the same fashion…the difference being, we're the "bullies" that are berating ourselves and often times, each other! We agonize over our work, full of doubt…asking.
"Am I a writer?"
"Is this good enough?"
"Will I ever be published?"
Self examination is normal and is actually proof positive that yes you are a writer! Over confidence in one's abilities tends to lead to a laxness and an arrogant attitude of superiority. Notice the defining describer here….OVER confidence! You must believe in yourself enough to first put your work out there…then be humble enough to except constructive criticism of your work and be willing to constantly expand your knowledge of the craft and be willing to work diligently to hone your skills. Know this…
You WILL be criticized…
You WILL be rejected….
Learn from this…improve your work and yourself. Stand up. Not only for yourself but more importantly for others! Do you know a fellow writer that's struggling? Help one another…promote each other..spread the word. Be positive and kind… especially to those that criticize your labor of love. Lashing out makes you look unprofessional and immature and folks, agents DO look at goggle…if your trash talking now days…it's there for all to see.
The greatest thing we can do as people is to be involved in the world around us. Don't ignore your fellow man because you're afraid of getting involved. Do what's right…even and perhaps especially when it requires some self sacrifice. The world is full of the mediocre…in the real and the fictional…if you want to be noticed and remembered in either, its time for a gut check!