Have you ever read your words for a couple of times and thought “Oh my God, this is really bad, this really sucks!” ? Well it happens to every writer from time to time – that his own thoughts seem strange to him, like he’s faking his own writing!
The truth is, many of us struggle to represent themselves as who they are. They’ll rather follow the trends on social media, rambling about safe topics and not expressing their real opinions. Why? We all have that ingrained need to be liked, loved, accepted – if possible by everybody.
And that my friend it’s simply Sisyphean venture. Many do try to ‘fake till they make’ – build a readership and ‘when the time is right’, they’ll start to write what they really think and feel. Well, there is a slight problem with this approach: If you only follow the crowd, your words are just another minuscule drop in the ocean of the sameness.
I do believe that we as writers have a responsibility to say and write our mind – being that in science, history, poetry or religion. Expressing our opinions in bold, courageous way is not easy, but that’s how change happens. That’s how we open doors to new opportunities, and connect with people we never new existed.
And here today, let me share with you what I think is (also in my own case) 4 main reasons we sometimes feel like we deceived our own writing:
You apologize for who you are.
You have probably noticed that brave writers, with strong words and opinions – just don’t give a damn what other people think of them. They don’t apologize for who they are.
They own their opinions and perspective as a part of their own identity. So neither should you hide yourself behind nicely packed words with silky ribbon. Being bold in your writing is being able to take a stand and give yourself permission to share your story.
At the beginning of writing this blog, I was scared – what on earth a geophysicist has so important to say about poetry? But maybe there’s the catch – it offers completely different point of view from someone who studied English literature or creative writing. And as the blog began to grow so did my confidence to more openly share my opinions, intimate stories, struggles. Because that’s what writers do. You never know how your writing will reach and touch someone else.
You are afraid to be vulnerable.
I know, world can be a cruel place. When you are completely open in your writing, everything you are becomes naked and so fragile to every negative comment, rejection, criticism… But this is the part of being a real writer. No matter how many slaps in your face you get, you are still there, showing up, continuing your work and firmly standing behind your words. Don’t be afraid to write about what you feel, what you experienced – it is real to you.
At the beginning of writing this blog I also clang towards safe, general topics. Yet with time, I also felt a need to share more personal experiences I got through poetry and I can tell you it is really liberating. As the act of writing is so fulfilling, so it is being able to show everyone how that wonderful, simple craft or art – you can call it whatever you like, is an amazing tool available to everyone. Everyone! And this blog simply transformed itself into a mission to make that more approachable and understandable to people. And I share some of my painful experiences where poetry directed me to the path of healing. I am vulnerable in my writing but it also has a purpose that’s much stronger and bigger than my fear of being hurt.
You strive towards non-existent perfectionism.
Not good enough. That is the sentence we repeat like mantra and I believe is the greatest enemy to creativity. As writers we sometimes put so high standards in front of us, that we cloud our reasonable judgment – in times we don’t even see how we are putting the bars higher and higher.
There’s no such thing as perfect writing. There is honest writing, fueled with emotion, passion, purpose and belief. That’s what you should strive for.
Somewhere along the way you lost the intention that drives your writing and it’s hard to get back on track.
You can recognize that this topic is repeating in many of my posts, because I know how it is important to know why you write. Your writing should seek to contribute, offer different perspective, encourage, inspire, support, analyze / synthesize information or simply to entertain.
Once you become clear with that, you can easily translate vision into a writing goal – then you produce meaningful work.
Do you feel like fake sometimes in your own work? What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share in the comments below.
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