As Wayne and Garth put it so famously in Wayne’s World, “We’re not worthy!” Writers, and artists in general, suffer from some version of that sentiment, whether spoken or not. Even if we know our writing is good, we often don’t take it to the next level to prove the point. So, how can writers (or artists or business owners, etc.) project an image that says “I am worthy?”
Tell others that you are a writer. When you introduce yourself at a party, a networking event or to people you meet, let people know you are writing a book called Blah, Blah and it is due out in the fall or spring or next year. People are naturally curious and will lean in to ask more. Speak it and it will become your reality.
Invest the time to make yourself the best writer possible. Take classes, online writing workshops and go to writing conferences to meet other writers. Read books. Lots and lots of books. Join a critique group and learn by getting your work critiqued AND critiquing other writing. You may find the latter even more valuable than the former. Learn more than you need to know and then teach others.
Write a little every day or at least every week. Schedule time. Put it on your calendar as if it were an appointment or a job interview. Be realistic and schedule the time you know you can keep and then don’t let anything get in the way of this treasured time. Form the writing habit and watch your writing start to flow with less and less effort.
Invest in it
To accomplish great things, you have to spend time or money or both. Set aside the money necessary to make this a reality. It may be that you need to invest the most in becoming a better writer or in a babysitter to have more time or invest in a team to help you publish your book. Whatever the need, set your financial priorities so writing investments rise near the top.
Now here come the excuses…..
I don’t have the time or money.
The truth is you might not have a lot of time or money. A high residency MFA might not be the path you can take right now. Do what you can do. Examine the time and money you currently spend and see where there is a crack of light. Barter for services or pool money from other writers to get the resources you need. Visit the library and ask for help.
What if people think I’m stupid or never going to make it?
Napoleon Hill said, “You are the master of your own destiny.” Listen to your inner brilliance and let your light shine.
What if my spouse, kids, friends or family feel neglected?
Be an inspiration to those around you even if there is initial resistance. Be honest about your goals and ask for help to reach them.
What if I have to give up watching Survivor for the rest of my life?
If you wait until you have enough time or money or until you are thin enough or the economy is right or know everything you need to know, you will look back at your opportunity from the great beyond. Take one step today to make your dream of being an author a reality and make a plan to accomplish the rest. You don’t have to publish it today, next month or even this year.
As my friend Donna Duffy often quotes from one of the many books she has read, “What you are walking toward is walking toward you.” Now is the time to start your journey. You ARE worthy!
What’s holding you back?