Hello, Al Bargen here. Probably the biggest obstacle facing the novice writer is a lack of confidence. We read amazing works by other authors and continually compare our work to their ‘perfect prose’. In fact, just the act of writing the two words ‘perfect prose’ side by side drops my confidence ever so slightly and causes a little bit of writers block.
The fact is that not everyone will like your writing. This is something every writer simply has to accept. If there are haters on the Internet that post negative comments about someone like Mother Teresa, then you can expect the negativity winds to drift in your direction from time to time as well. Common sense tells us not to engage with these anonymous people. Let’s face it, how do we really want to spend our time? But one cannot help but entertain the brief fantasy of “putting them in their place.”
We all have things that make us unique. Our different experiences, the people we know, the books we have read; there is no one else on the planet that has your exact perspective on things. Not a single person on earth can write the exact articles, and posts and by extension the books that you can write. Smile. Hold your head high. I want to share with you something that helped me tremendously when I first read it.
” I am – just as you are – a unique, and never – to – be – repeated event in this universe. Therefore, I have – just as you have – a unique, never – to – be – repeated role in this world.” George Sheehan
I suppose now I could dive into the typical confidence-building clichés like “ignore the critics” and “look good to feel great”. I suppose that would give me a warm fuzzy right where it counts. But I’m not going to do that. If you haven’t already, write from your heart and put it out on the web for others to see. Be authentic, and be yourself. Instead I’ll leave you with one last quote that had a tremendous impact on me when my confidence was lacking.
“It’s not the critic who counts. It’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled. Credit belongs to the man who really was in the arena, his face marred by dust, sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs to come short and short again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. It is the man who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasm and knows the great devotion, who spends himself on a worthy cause, who at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement. And, who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and cruel souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Thank you for reading. Please leave any comments, good or bad.
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