How many times as a writer do we just toss in the towel and walk away. We think “Nobody is going to look at my blog,” or “How can anybody even hear me, above a thousand voices?” I tell you, don’t give up.
My daughter was a big inspiration to me: when she was in school, her teacher told her not to be her worst critic. She would come home, and I would be writing or painting or playing music, and I would be saying “I am no good, I should just quit.”
My daughter would put her hand on my shoulder and say, “Daddy, don’t be your worst critic.”
Well, I have to say, the criticism I have given my self has caused me to cap my pen, put my paints away and fold my music stand. I gave up on it all - why, because I didn’t think I was good enough.
Back in 2004, I was challenged by a co-worker to write a short story. He did not think I could write a short story in 24 hours. I came up with a story line, composed the story on my way home, sat down at my computer and wrote a 4800 word short story. Printed it out and took it to him the next day. I just wanted to prove him wrong, but it created a spark.
Two years later, I picked that story back up, and turned it into a novel. I worked really hard on the novel, and then I self-published it. I was in love with the book, and I had dreams of making it big as a novelist. However, my book never sold. People I let read the book gave me feedback of: “Wow, you should donate this to a sleep center, because it could cure insomnia,” and “So did your third grader write this, you must be so proud.”
I was crushed. My book, my baby was being scorned. I was not going to be deterred, my first book was not well accepted, but I will try again. So I wrote more,(not publishing of course) and nothing ever was accepted. I then capped my pen, and decided to never write again. I gave up!
I tried again to write after I had brain surgery. What brought me back? Well I love writing, and I missed it. I never publicized the blog, so once again - I capped my pen. But I still missed writing.
This last time, after taking test after test, I was pointed to writing and storytelling. So I started up again. This time, I have had over a thousand page views in a month (BTW Thanks for that), and I feel encouraged. I have also started another book - with my wife’s insistence, but the most important thing to remember – mistakes are learning opportunities; learning from your missteps in the past, will help you avoid them in the future.
I guess what I am saying is: We are artists, we do ink play, we paint with words, invoking thoughts are our canvas and words are powerful. We need to do what we do best, and when you stop; you silence your own voice.
Quit smoking, quit doing drugs, quit drinking, quit bad relationships and bad jobs, but don’t quit writing. Never give up! Never, never give up your voice.