Saturday, September 26, 2015

Writing - When No One Else Believes in You

“You have to believe in yourself before anybody else believes in you.”
- Ray LaMontagne

I started writing stories when I was a small child. I still have one of my penciled stories about a little bird that was attacked by a cat and didn’t survive the night in the little cage my mom and I prepared for it. I can still see the tear marks on the paper as I wrote my little story.

I always knew I was going to be a writer, even though no one else believed in me.

The harshest moment came when I was in 11th grade and Mrs. Miller, the guidance counselor, called me down to her office to discuss what I was going to do with my life. I told her I was going to be a writer. When she was done laughing at me, she told me I should consider being a secretary. Mrs. Miller, if you are still alive, I saved a copy of my first check from The New York Times just for you.

Life didn’t get any easier after being published. I’ve had a boyfriend tell me to get a real job and tell me that writing isn’t “real” work and I’ve had people dismiss my very existence when I told them I make a living by writing. Yeah, well I didn’t need those people in my life anyway, and neither do you.

Dream It, Believe It, Do It

People all over the world put aside their dreams to be what others want them to be. As a society, we have lost a countless number of artists, writers, dreamers, creators, and so much more, all because no one believed in them.

“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will?”
- Jon Bon Jovi

If you can dream it, then you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen. The only person you need to believe in you is yourself.

I am not saying that believing in yourself is going to be easy. When the rest of the world seems to be telling you that you’re not good enough, your too damn stupid, or you’re too lazy, it is going to be tough. Work through it and keep true to your dreams.

Make a Plan

If writing is your dream, make a plan of action. You’re not going to become a writer magically overnight, but if you make a plan to sit down for one hour a day to writer, you will become a writer through your actions.

Keep Quiet

“Private dreams are the most powerful. You have to dream of success to make it happen, and if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will. But that doesn't mean you have to go around telling everyone about it.”
- Tony McCoy

One way I have dealt with naysayers in the past is to simply keep quiet. If they don’t believe you can be a writer, then don’t bring it up to them again. You don’t need to hear their negativity, and they will know soon enough how wrong they were.

No Such Thing as Failure

I’ve written a lot of duds in my time. I keep them all in a box. Sometimes I will look through them and see where I went wrong. Mostly, though, I keep on writing new stuff and let the old stuff gather the dust of the ages.

There will probably be a lot of failures as you work your way to becoming a published writer. You may even publish a few Kindle book duds. But, eventually, you will hit the winning streak and and show yourself that you were right all along.

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