I think as a self-identified “new” writer, my writings were colored in my own insecurities and doubts, doubts about myself, the world, and how others would receive me.
One of my biggest insecurities that I had was that I was not good enough and that I needed to do a lot of extraneous stuff to justify my existence and right to call myself a “writer.”
I wrote a lot then, mostly for blogs, and tried to build a platform and stay connected and do all the other things I was told. And I did these things not really because I wanted to. I did these things because I thought I had to.
And I did what I was told instead of what I felt because I was afraid, mostly, of being forgotten, that my writings were never good enough to stand on their own. I convinced myself I needed a “tap dance” routine, a gimmick that I performed regularly to keep an audience interested. And I told myself that keeping an audience interested was what I had to do, or else I would fade into oblivion and my dreams of writing something great would die.
There are many writers online and with the economy in the state it’s in, writing has become a desired profession by many. There are many who craft sentences and tell stories and do this work with the hopes of being paid for it. But there’s only one you, I’ve realized. And so long as you write things that are beautiful, that is enough. You don’t need to be in every online publication to be BIG. You need to write what you wish and ensure that you are writing from beauty rather than that uglier place of self-doubt and fear of being forgotten.
Every year, my family and I go to the Cherry Blossom festivities in Washington, DC, as do thousands of other people from all around the world.
The flowers that attract us are the same.
They hang and are of a blushing pink and white color. They smell the same and feel the same in your hands. The trees are the same. They are dark and windy and so picturesque.
In looking at them, I was reminded of myself as a writer. These trees attract thousands not because they promise to be different. They attract thousands because they are always beautiful. They are just themselves and that’s enough for people to want to see them, to travel miles each year to take pictures in front of them.
The trees are beautiful and that’s enough.
So, to any new writer, I say, just write things that are beautiful. And it will always be the beautiful things you’ve written, the truthful things you’ve written that you should hope will one day define you as a writer, not how many publications you made it in or how many followers you have on Twitter or Facebook or any of the other channels that you may have been told you need to be on to “make it.”
Write beautiful things and you will find that rather than “making it,” you will look at your feet and see you’ve already arrived.