My writing is something I have kept private most of my life. I have been keeping journals since I was six years old. I started making up and writing my own stories soon after. But I’m a private person. I value my alone time and have always been hesitant to share most of my writing with others. Like any kind of art or interest, it’s personal. The things I write are important to me, or I wouldn’t be writing them.
It has taken me a long time to realize that what I have to say is important. It has taken even longer to work up the courage to share it with others. And I can’t even describe to you the convincing I had to do with myself to finally set up this blog and make my writing public.
I know that the best way to learn how to write well is to read the things that other people write. So I spend a lot of time reading, studying, and learning. I study writing styles and practice various writing techniques. I have worked hard for most of my life to hone my skills and become a better writer.
But I ran into a problem.
I read these other blogs and began to feel even more inferior and insecure about my abilities. I don’t feel I can be as charming or witty as many other writers. I don’t feel I have the deep levels of perception and artistic expression that many of the writers I admire possess.
I’ll admit that there was a period of time where I stopped writing for pleasure. I stopped journaling. I stopped even considering starting a blog. I focused my writing on only paying freelance projects because that was “safe.” There is very little outside judgment to be found in writing a how-to article about social media marketing.
Then I realized something:
Comparing myself to other writers would do nothing but hold me back, especially in the freelance market where I’m competing with a slew of writers who are much more experienced than me. The key to success is establishing confidence in my abilities and my individual writing style.
This confidence is a choice I have to make every day. Even if my pieces are rejected forty-nine out of fifty times, I need to focus on that one success and strive to reproduce it.
I need to stop comparing myself to other writers who, even though I admire them, don’t have the same stories to tell.
They have their own stories, their own experiences, their own thoughts, and perspectives.
And that’s what I bring to the table – my own take on the world and my own experiences.
Worrying about what other people think of my writing will only hold me back. I’m not writing to impress. I’m writing because it’s what I love. I write in a style that makes me most comfortable. I don’t need to try to write like other people. I only need to write like me.