My Number 1 Rule As a Writer
Most writers neglect this rule.
The rule is,
Many people are their own harshest critic.
This often comes from caring about what other people think.
But here’s the thing,
It’s none of your business what other people think of you.
What people think shouldn’t matter to you.
The truth is, what other people think is a reflection of what they believe.
It’s not a reflection of reality.
For the longest time I struggled with what my readers think.
I thought my writing was trash.
But it wasn’t until I scored positive reviews that I relinquished my inner critic.
I’ve had 1 person tell me my work was the best thing he has ever read on the Internet.
Some people would think they are hot shit after a comment like that, but not me.
I take applause with a grain of salt, because I know I still have much to learn about how to be a great writer.
If someone says my writing is shit I’m able to let that go.
I can let it go because I’ve heard enough positive feedback to know that even my average writing is still good.
I’ve blogged for five years now.
And I’m only starting to get good.
In the last five years I’ve thrown out plenty of my work.
I’ve threw away my work because I thought it wasn’t good enough to publish.
I regret this.
I also believe what I’ve thrown out is the best work I have ever done.
The problem was I failed to believe in my work.
Now I trust myself, and I’m confident that even my average work is good enough.
I got my confidence as a writer when I wrote blog posts for the Ottawa Spartans.
For one season I was the teams blogger, and the players showed great appreciation for my work.
Three players even came up to me and said that “I’m an amazing writer”, and they “got fired up” when they read the pre game pump ups, they also loved the player biographies.
Back in 2013 when I first started blogging, someone said that my about me page was “the best thing I’ve ever read on the Internet.”
I look back on that compliment when I should trust myself more.
I still avoid judging my own work though.
You have to give your work up to the universe at some point.
I recommend editing and carefully revising before you publish.
However, you have to be able to trust yourself enough to publish.
In this blog I haven’t edited as much as normal because I need to trust myself more.
There comes a point in editing when you know your work is good enough.
Edit until that point, but don’t overthink.
When you’re happy with your work, publish it.
Like I said, you have to trust yourself.
Learn from feedback and constructive criticism but take compliments with a grain of salt.
Positive comments can make you complacent and blind to your own weaknesses. You may also lose the drive to improve after reading your own press.
The truth is you should always be trying to improve.
I find critical comments more valuable, but I don’t get very many and I wish I did sometimes.
I appreciate advice on how to improve from my readers, but possibly the reality is that I’m a good enough writer that people don’t think I need much advice.
But I know that even if I’m a good writer, I’m not Stephen King or J.K Rowling.
There’s always more I can do to improve.
You shouldn’t worry about what other people think.
I always go with what I think of myself at the end of the day, because I write for myself.
I don’t care if I have 10 followers or 1 million followers.
I write for myself.
I don’t want to be a slave to my reputation, my writing is done for the love of the art and my own enjoyment.
I know a lot of people like my work, and I know some will never care about it.
But who likes my work and who doesn’t is none of my business.
My only job is to make a work of art until I think it’s good enough.
After I have done that I must hit the publish button.
Afterwards I let the chips fall where they may.
I want to make $1 million as a blogger.
But I know I must not worry about what other people think, or I will never make $1 million a blogger.
Like I said, I write for one person only – myself.
This website is my journal.
I happen to publish my journal because I believe that my words can inspire other people. I also enjoy sharing insights that express my truth.
Once again, I encourage all writers to keep this one thing in mind,
Believe in yourself!
It took me five years of writing to reach this realization, but when I finally trusted myself, it was very liberating.
You will get to a point where you put your 10,000 hours in and have reached a level of proficiency in your work.
It’s at that point where you should trust yourself more and more, yet still listen to other people’s advice.
I did 30 posts in November, and I’ve already made 5 posts in December. I also plan to have 400 posts per year at minimum.
This means there will be plenty of great content to read for years to come on winning and grinning.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,