It’s not enough. It doesn’t feel right. The words don’t flow. It’s not working. I’m trying too hard to be honest. All I’m good for is a 140 character tweet and an Instagram post with silly hashtags. How much of what I write is truly sticking and making an impact?
I’ve been dealing with these thoughts for the better half of four months now in regard to my personal writing and creativity. It’s felt like a wall I can’t shatter and I’ve felt like a complete failure at my craft because of it.
Give me a list of specific things I need to write, cool, I’ll do it for you in the span of an afternoon and it’ll look beautiful once it’s edited. But God forbid I sit in front of a blank word document and face the treacherous waters of my own soul. I find myself afraid that sharing the truth won’t be enough, that instead of landing in a cushioned embrace of love, I will instead be snatched up hastily, leaving my bones cracked and my skin bruised.
All over the place, I hear that broken things make light shine brighter, that cracks give way to the light that needs to billow forth. It’s easy to see that light in others. It’s harder to see it in my own cracks, bruises, and leeways that let the light in and out. I’m trying so hard to cover up with shorter sentences, pictures, and hashtags, but I forget the beauty it is to string a sentence together in words that let the light out like a gushing waterfall over tall rock brigades.
I really believe that all good writers are called to edification, encouragement, and telling the truth with their words and stories. All good writers connect words beautifully, but the way we share them will always be different. The way I see something comes from my personal frame of mind. No one else’s frame of mind is a carbon copy of mine. I was not meant to think, see, create, or write in the same way as the writers I look to for inspiration and even encouragement.
I will sit inside my room every night trying to write. Most of the time, I will instead find myself distracted when a blog post pops up on my newsfeed. I will read the blog, feel inspired for a few moments, but then wonder how I can ever reach that level of expertise or discipline that gets someone to write so well on a weekly basis. I will seethe in a bath of jealousy when I see good editing and proofreading, a direct hit that I know comes from being let go from my job in July where I was supposed to see, edit, proofread, and catch things that I simply could not.
I don’t have a keen eye for editing and proofreading. Writing is never the issue when I make it into a state of flow, but the editing portion of writing takes me much longer and is actually more of an arduous process for me, especially when I am working on my personal work.
Just because I am not designed to edit well does not mean I am less of a writer. I think I need to repeat that again, both for myself and for the people in the back who may need to hear it, too. Just because I am not designed to edit well does not mean I am less of a writer. It does not mean that I don’t have something good or edifying to say.
Everyone has a story to share that is important for the world to hear and know about. Each and every voice matters. In complete transparency, however, I’ve only ever believed that in the context of others and never really believed that what I have to say or share is important, too. I’m too busy comparing the amount of likes or comments I get to friends or other writers who make it look so easy.
That mode of thinking needs to be barricaded and shut down right now, because it’s not the truth. Realizing that scarcity, self-victimization, and comparison are all mindsets I easily fall into is helpful for me as I continue to move forward on my personal journey as a creator and influencer. Since coming to know this about myself a couple years ago, it’s been a journey of daily learning to rebuke these mindsets that plague me so strongly. Not weekly, not monthly, but daily.
I choose gratitude on a regular and consistent basis when I find myself in the ugly cycle of comparison, scarcity-mindset, or self-victimization. Consistent and regular thanksgiving has reminded me of all the things I am blessed to have and over time, it has become second nature to look at all the beautiful things I have been given in my life over the things I have not been. When it comes to writing and creating, however, it has been an uphill battle. Creativity is such a personal, unique, and powerful thing, which is probably why it’s the single hardest thing to combat in the realm of comparison.
It’s my guess that if I’m struggling with this as a writer, then there have got to be thousands of other writers and creators who feel the same. If you do struggle with this, know that you’re not alone. What you bring to the table is unique, edifying, and important. The world needs what you have to say. Keep going even when you fail, and for God’s sake, keep creating!
All it takes is one daring voice to begin the beautiful echo of a deeper conversation. It’s in the daring that light radiates forth at a speed faster than humans can possibly understand.
This is my daring echo.