Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | By: Lynn

Be Your Own Best Advocate

Don’t give up on yourself.

For me, that is one of those easier said than done things. I don’t know why. Anyone who knows me well knows I have self-doubt. It’s not that I don’t believe in myself, it’s that “parts” of me believe more in the reasons I may fail than in my ability to succeed. It takes a lot of energy to persevere when parts of me are cringing or cowering or yelling, “You can’t do it. Why are you trying? Who do you think you are?"

I don’t have multiple personalities. But I believe we all have parts that have belief systems that run counter to achieving the things we’re capable of. These parts have other agendas, like keeping us safe from criticism or disappointment or toeing some imaginary line, not rocking the boat.

If you don’t relate to this issue, I’m happy for you. But I don’t think I’m alone in having this kind of inner battle. Just recently an article by novelist and screenwriter Chuck Wendig, shared in my writing group, addressed the power of our own inner negative voices. The article, posted on his blog Terrible Minds, quite eloquently discusses motivation and inspiration for writers. He puts success for writing squarely in a writer’s lap and asks that we be our own best advocate.

“You’re the Muse that inspires you. You’re the god to which you sacrifice. You’re the battering ram made of unholy fire that tears down Writer’s Block. You’re the knife that cuts the arm off, you’re the boulder that must be pulverized, you’re the devil in the details. … I can try to tell you how to write. But first you have to be willing to write. You only get the map when you step through the door. It only gets done by doing it. Will yourself to create. Accept no excuses. Brook no fear... .”

The fear factor can be debilitating. But whatever the fear factor is for a writer, chances are very strong that it originates in something internal, making it within his or her ability to deal with and move on to do what we writers want to do – write. 
Inspiring words are helpful. They are a reminder that I’m not going to give up on myself if a reviewer gives my book a less than stellar rating or if I question whether I know what happens next in my story. Rather than listen to the parts that make it hard to write, I can do the things I know support my writing. I can prepare by doing the research I need for my story. I can put the fear in perspective -- it’s not valid and I’m the boss of me, not some reviewer or nay-sayer, real or imagined. I’m going to show up at my laptop and write whatever I can, knowing my skills never fail me. I’m not going to be my writing’s worst enemy. I’m not going to give up on myself. I’m going to be happy with my accomplishments, not regretful I gave up.

I mean, seriously? Am I going to give up on myself?


What kinds of things get in your way of writing? Does fear factor in? How do you overcome it?


RT Wolfe said...

All of this sounds like you must be an author! LOL. Hang in there. I've your work. You're awesome!
-R.T. Wolfe

Angela Adams said...

Thanks for the post. Deadlines with my day job sometimes get in the way of writing. Anyone else have that dilemma?

HiDee said...

I'm with you Angela - too many times my day job bleeds over. Sometimes I think life just enjoys getting in the way of my best-laid plans!

Anonymous said...

My problem is called the path of least resistance. Yes, I'm busy with work, family and home, but I "have time" to write. It's just easier and more comfortable to flip on the TV, or pick up a magazine, especially when I'm tired.

"Not everyone peaks in their 20's"

Lynn said...

Thanks, all for commenting. Day jobs, family, energy...so many things to distract from writing...then there's the TV, etc. But mine is self-sabotage most of all. Working on it!

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