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Don’t be afraid to let others know you’re a writer

March 16, 2013

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They say public speaking is one of the biggest fears people have. I can’t argue with that, but I’ll make a safe bet that coming out for the first time is right up there with making speeches and things that go bump in the night.

The coming out I’m talking about is telling people you’re a writer. I get messages all the time from writers who’ve been scribbling away in secrecy for very much of their lives. For many people, it’s years, even decades that they’ve been writing some secret diary or personal testament or novel. Some writers have more than a few manuscripts squirreled away in drawers they wouldn’t dream of revealing.

Why is that? Why do we so fear showing our work? I think it mostly has to do with fear of failure – at least in the eyes of others. We don’t feel anything we write will be good enough. Let’s face it. None of us likes rejection, and we fear that let down others will convey to us. All that writing we’ve done will be for naught, our dreams of being authors crushed to dust.

If you’re a writer, don’t be afraid. Share your writing with friends, lovers, even colleagues at work. Let them know you’re a writer. Oh sure, some will scoff, perhaps gently pat you on the head and make some patronizing comment such as, “You’re a writer huh. Well that’s nice, but don’t give up your day job.” Or, how about, “What do you write? Recipes or wall graffiti?”

Writing can be a very personal thing. We tap into our souls, our emotions. If we share our mad scribblings with others, our writing abilities are right there on paper for them to see. Is that what you’re really afraid of?

We are all unique individuals with something to say. Not artistic or creative enough to be a writer? Humbug. Not a talented enough wordsmith? Bah. You say you’ve led the least interesting life of anyone in six counties? Hogwash and nonsense ladies and gentlemen.

We’ve all had experiences in this life. Even the shut-in who hasn’t left his house for twenty years has some pretty incredible things to share with us. Just the fact that that person is a shut-in is pretty interesting in itself.

Let the world know you’re a writer. There’s freedom in sharing. Why hide the fact that you like to spend a couple of hours a day writing away on the computer? You might find there’s a lot of people out there happy to know you’re a writer, and a few others who will encourage you, give you that pat on the back to press on with your writing when you wonder if it’s all worth it.

As for those naysayers, those folks who think writing is a waste of everyone’s time, including your own – Screw ’em.

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