There is just one thing to ask when we identify as writers- when will we feel comfortable doing so? How many books or articles do we need to have published before we can say confidently ‘I am a writer’? I have heard published authors confessing that they still didn’t feel like writers.
Liz Byrski for example had published several non- fiction books and was a successful journalist, as well as being an ABC radio co host. It was a comment from her then husband that spurred her into writing fiction. When she said she had published books, his reply was allegedly ‘yes, but they’re not the right books.’
As far as I know he wasn’t a writer, but he certainly was a critic. She needn’t have listened, she could have said ‘I ‘m fine, I’m happy with what I do, Its paying the bills,’ but when your nearest and dearest speak, you tend to listen.
We writers are sensitive souls, we struggle with fear to put words onto the page. The fear of being exposed as stupid, not clever enough, odd, strange and all those other critical things we say to ourselves and are afraid that others will say to us too.
Is this why we want to have written, but procrastinate about writing? If there is nothing on the page then there is nothing to criticise, but equally there is nothing to praise, nothing to improve, nothing to challenge us to do more and to do it better.
Are we waiting for a sign from the universe?
Folks this is it – here is your sign-
Write with pen and paper, write on your I-pad, write in a notebook, jot notes and observations while you are out or sit at home with your laptop or desktop computer and simply write without restraint, without fear of criticism. Let the words flow and deal with the overflow, later.