Over and over again, in comments, on forums, and in email writers and people who want to be writers express some sort of lack of self-worth.
One is afraid to submit to magazines, presumably out of fear of rejection.
Another hesitates to start a novel because they might not get it right, whatever that means.
There must be a million excuses not to write.
Most of the excuses reflect some sort of lack of self-esteem, some sense of not being worthy, some fear of something undefined that blocks a would-be writer from writing. And there’s a story behind everyone.
I know, because I’ve had most of the same excuses and same stories as every other writer in the world.
But, if we’re to be successful, if we’re to have a chance to fulfill our own dreams, we have to drop our story of why we can’t and push through to doing. No one can do it for you – it’s futile to ask because it can’t happen.
Here are 6 ways you can change how you view yourself as a writer, and in life as well:
- Just do it! Nike was right. Go ahead and query or apply or submit. Do it in spite of the fears and self-doubts.
- Stop the negative self-talk. Just as you talk yourself out of writing or submitting because you think you’re not good enough, you can talk yourself right into having more than enough confidence. The kind of self-talk you use is a matter of habit, and you can change it.
- Quit listening to nay-sayers. If you’ve got people in your life that one way or another are giving you messages that you can’t write well enough, or that you should be doing ‘real’ work, or are otherwise discouraging, at least stop listening to them. Even better, get away from them – not always possible, I know. Actually nay-sayers can give you a good opportunity to counter with positive self-talk. Try it… try it for several weeks or a month.
- What’s the worst that can happen? Carol Tice pointed this out in one of our webinars – ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen. After all, the editor you submit to, the agent you approach, the webmaster you offer a guest post to aren’t going to shoot you. They also are unlikely to take out a full page (or even a classified) ad in the New York Times.
- How will you feel if you never do it? Think a dozen years ahead – what if you’ve never even tried to pursue your dreams of writing? Isn’t it worth risking some rejection or feeling silly along the way to at least find out?
- Model the cat. Yes, if you’ve got a cat at home you know what I mean. Cats never, ever hesitate to ask for what they want. They aren’t embarrassed if you say no – they just keep trying, usu sally until you give in. It’s never, ever occurred to a cat that they might not be worthy. No one has ever accused a cat of not feeling worthy – you can do the same if you’re willing.
Lori Widmer posted What’s Your Value? today (I swear, I wrote mine before I read hers 😉 )
You might also find 6 Freelance Writing Fears & How To Overcome Them worth a read.
What other tips do you have for increasing your daring as a freelance writer?
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