If there is anything a writer (or any artist) needs, it is that. After all, you are placing a short story, essay, painting, poem or some other original work out in the open for someone to love or scrutinize.
Though I have written for years and published a little, I still wrestle with small bouts of insecurity. The shadow comes when I blog, tell people I am a writer or submit the latest short story. I think I am not good enough, original enough, have not lived and experienced enough to put something amazing or meaningful together.
Over the last few months I created a writing space. I built bookshelves, put pictures up of my wife and kids, in order to have a place to write and keep my writer-ish things (like a sailboat, family heirlooms, hockey pucks and, most importantly, my leather bound journals).
Every once in a while I crack open a journal entry or two to review an important date of my life. The entry at 5am before I was married to my beautiful bride. The birth of my first daughter. The day I graduated college. The day my second daughter was born. I reflect and remember how much I have grown both as a writer and a person. Recently, I read my very first journal entry and smiled.
This “entry” consisted of a date, title, and a scrap from a devotional book. That’s right. My first attempt at a journal entry was also my first attempt at plagiarism.
Be what it is, I learned something. Something significant and comforting that I consider each time I embark on a new project.
I can see progress and joy in my entries and short stories. I see the love of something good and, even in the rarest of occasions, profound.
There are many things we build on. But they all come from the first word, the first step of trying something new. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t.
That is not the point. The point is the step.
After a while you can see just how far you’ve come.
If there is any doubt in you writer – think about the piece before. Think about how far you’ve come. I did and find I am a lot further down the road than I could ever have expected.
And it gives me confidence to keep going.
Keep (or start) Writing.