My biggest hurdle to writing in the past has always been related to overthinking. Is this story good enough? Do I write well enough? Will people like it? Could it be published? Could I make money with it?
All these questions have kept me from delving into the writing world; they represent my own fear of failure.
A great part of my life has been operating with a fear of failure. I’ve always believed that I needed to be good at something immediately, and I would get down on myself for not being as good as I “should” be.
Growing up in a small-town playing clarinet reinforced this idea to me. I didn’t need to practice because I could sight-read all the music. But that changed when I started college and was going to be playing with the wind symphony at Carnegie Hall. I realized that I wasn’t good enough, and, yes, I had to learn to practice, but the hardest thing was making myself do it.
I learned to fake it a lot of the time because the consequences of failure seemed catastrophic.
And that has been my mindset when it comes to writing as well. I must be good, I must be published, and I must be well thought of as an author. I shouldn’t be writing anything lowbrow; it needs to be sophisticated and representative of my deep personality.
But that all changed when I decided a couple of months ago to make writing my focus. I knew already that to traditionally publish in this day and age, you need to already have a following. But I was resistant to that idea. I didn’t want to go through the work of marketing myself, and I wanted to make money with my writing right now. After all, anything posted on community sites like Wattpad may only get a few readers and would not generate income.
But then I started reading a book called The Writer’s Guide to Wattpad by Benjamin Sobieck. I’m not even halfway through it yet, and I’ve already adopted a different mindset.
Wattpad is all about helping you get readers, which led to the realization that loyal readers are worth way more than a few dollars. I don’t have to be perfect in what I write, because Wattpad is filled with millions of imperfect authors who have hundreds of thousands of followers.
It’s taken me a while to fully commit to this mindset. In fact, I’ve been putting off posting my story to Wattpad because I’m afraid that it won’t be good enough. But fear is not going to make me a published author, and so I’m resolving to have the story posted by the end of this week.
I will post a link to it in my next blog post.
So now my mindset for 2020 is to gain readers. Time will tell if this is right path, but the difference now is that I’m willing to make the mistakes I was afraid to make at first. And I welcome any insights or feedback into this area, because I admit that marketing myself and social media is not something that I’m strong in…yet.
Until next time! Cheers!