Monday, August 18, 2014

Letter to Myself

I know you've been staring at your manuscript for months now, playing with details, writing and rewriting. Every time you look at your book, you wonder if you've made it better or worse. After changing it so many times, you can't tell.  

Here you are on a three week vacation, but you keep looking for chances to sneak away and write. You pray no one will notice that, although you're trying hard listen to the dinner conversation, you're drowning in details of a world you made up.

You're trying so hard, but you're scared. You doubt you'll ever become a real writer. You're afraid you might be a fake.

Sometimes you buy into the idea that you're not for real unless you publish, but even if you do, there will be people who hate your work. They'll say it isn't any good and point to a million things you should have done differently. It will happen. There is no way you will write a book with universal approval.

It doesn't matter. You are not a fake.

Words make up your life. The need to fill a blank page can cloud your ability to be fully present in a conversation, but it is also the way you immortalize moments that matter. It is the lens you use to interpret the world and understand your place in it.

Writing creates a constant running interior dialogue inside your head that keeps you up late, wakes you up early, and won't shut up or leave you alone.  It's been part of you for such a long time, you can't imagine anything different. It enhances life and makes it beautiful. You will never stop.

It's okay to feel insecure. You will always fear what others think about your work. The quality of your writing will vary day to day, even by your own standards. But the one thing you should never doubt is that you are, in fact, a writer.  

Don't be afraid to say it.


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