When I started to write, I was teased. I was told I’d never write “the great American novel.” I was told I was wasting my time. I was told my stories suck. I have been told I am not what people are looking for. I have been told my writing style isn’t meant to be read.
I’ve been told a great deal of negative things. I have heard it all. In fact, some still tease me. Some still criticize my writing. Some still just don’t care.
It’s why I have hidden my work under a bushel all of these years. It’s why I haven’t shared a great deal of what I love to do.
I have become hyper critical of myself as a result of what others have told me. It sucks, but I am learning to push back against my self doubt, even though sometimes it’s a daunting task. As other begin to read what I have written, whether it be my fiction, my historical articles, my genealogy blog or even just a letter I have penned, they tell me my writings are awesome. I am learning that while some may not like what I have done, there are countless others who do.
Even though I have always been writing, it’s only recently that I have been trying to push it out there. Because of the criticism though, I also am trying to not push it out there too much, for I also fight against the feeling that I am self promoting myself too much, which is another criticism I have heard from certain people.
I’m not looking to become famous. I am not looking for this to be the way I make my living (that’s why I also work full time!) I am looking to share my stories and what I have learned with others. If that means no one reads them, at least I tried to share. If I make a ton of money doing this, awesome.
What is important to me is that I get my words out of my head into a form in which it makes sense. I write so that I can share my characters with the world.
It’s why I write. It’s taken me a good thirty-five of my forty years to figure this out.
I also self publish, which some look down on because it means I’m “not making it big.” But you know what, at least I went and wrote a book (four in fact so far, though I am not proud of the first one I ever wrote). At least I am following through with a dream to be a writer. At least I am trying. And for now, that’s what I am going to focus on.
I have had people tell me I can paint pictures with words so they see things vividly in their heads. I have had friends tell me they wanted to throw their books and electronic reading devices down because I wrote something that made them so mad for the characters’ sakes that they couldn’t continue until they calmed down. I have moved a grown man to tears with my eloquence when writing a death scene. I have been told my words flow in a way no other’s can.
It’s why I write. Those are the words I need to hold on to. That’s the stuff I need to focus on.
No matter what, I need to get the words out.
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