Writing is hard. Every time you sit down to work, you must transfer the deepest parts of yourself onto a two-dimensional, white surface while being mocked by a blinking cursor. And it never gets any easier.
I’ve seen writers who are some of the bravest people you will ever meet, and others who are the most cowardly. And the reason that writing never gets any easier is because the act of putting words on paper is a constant battle between the two.
Why Are You Here?
When you sit down to write, ask yourself why. What are you doing here, meeting with the mystery of a blank page? Whether you’re creating content for your website, or writing a chapter for a novel, what is it you hope to uncover?
There are too many writers who don’t know the answer.
Or perhaps they do and deny it. These are the cowards.
When Caution Steals Your Voice
When you deny the reason you write, you deny the very deepest part of you. Because you are afraid. But then, we all are, because writing is hard—or it is when it means something. And don’t we all want to mean something?
The problem is, we are often too cautious; too careful with our words. Careful not to let too much of ourselves out, because of the question that looms over every sentence: “Will this be accepted?” And you can never know.
We’ve believed it’s better to play it safe than to be real; that it’s better to be liked than to be honest. And the price is high. When you are too careful with your voice, you begin to sound like everyone else.
Don’t try so hard to mirror another voice that you silence your own.
— Emily Tjaden (@emily_tjaden) November 9, 2015
The fear of rejection; of distain; of anonymity—of nobody caring at all is not something that goes away. Because every time you choose to open up, the risk is there. But there’s another chance as well: the chance for a greater impact than you can imagine.
Humans are drawn to authenticity. When you are brave with your voice, you’re reaching out a hand to the needy; giving hope to the hopeless. So don’t tailor your words. Don’t censor your beliefs. Don’t try so hard to mirror another voice that you silence your own. You will not fit into everybody’s box, and that’s okay. The bravest writers are the ones who are willing to sacrifice popularity for realness and meaning.
Honesty Pays Off
When you try to package your voice in a neat little box with a ribbon, it feels sterile. Any connection that happens will be false; as lasting as a handful of sand in the ocean breeze. When you pretend to be perfect, you save yourself judgement, only because there is nothing to judge. You’re empty.
While it may not earn unlimited popularity, honesty is repaid with authenticity. Instead of grains of sand, your words weave a cord of trust; of loyalty. A connection that will last. Being brave is the willingness to fight through the tough spots; the rejection and anonymity for something greater and far more valuable: your purpose. For only the bold will be remembered as great.
So I’m asking you: what kind of writer are you?