“Well, I’l try my best. I figure I have to give it a shot, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I’l just accept it.”
Roshi Responded, “That’s the wrong attitude. If they knock you down, you get up. If they knock you down again, get up. No matter how many times they knock you down, get up again. That is how it should go.” Page 117, Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.
To be a writer, there are other obstacles that a person may face besides self-doubt and learning the craft. It can be as simple as a lack of support and understanding from those in your life.
I love my family with all my heart. I respect and follow most of their opinions and advice on life. However, when it comes to the subject of writing, I don’t listen to their comments. This is not because I do not respect their views, its just that I do not -cannot- expect them to fully understand my dreams.
Members of my family, with all manner of good intentions, try to offer me advice on how to approach my dream. They give me suggestions as to which genre to write in. They remind me that ‘most writers don’t make it” or “most writers do not earn much money or make much success until they are old or dead” or variants of this thread.
I know they speak out of love and they want what is best for me, but when it comes to something like writing, I hear enough negative comments within my own mind, without my own family adding to them. I am painfully aware of those facts that my family have brought up. I also get frustrated with them, since do they really think my head is that far up in the clouds that I don’t already understand such things? Bah!
For some reason, my family suggested to me the other day that I write Children’s books. I explained to them that this is not a genre I am interested in at the moment. The response was that I should do what is “commercial” not the things that I want.
Now, first of all, I don’t know how successful I could be with writing Children’s books, all I know is that writing them is no easier than writing in any other genre. Just because these books are intended for children, it doesn’t make them easy to write.
Secondly, I don’t see the point in writing something that I am not interested in. At the moment I cannot write for the money because I don’t know that I will be earning anything from what I write. Due to this fact, it makes no sense to base my motivation on how commercial my ideas are. Sure, I want to make money someday out of my creative endeavours, but I have to do the hard work first.
If I am sweating over something that I have no passion for (at least to start with) it would turn into a burden and a chore, I may as well not write at all. I would be better off working at a local call centre for regular hours and regular money. In other words, writing is a waste of time for me, if I were to approach it with the sole motivation of making money. I write because first and foremost, I love it. I also think that I have potential to write good stories. However, before I can please anyone on a commercial scale, I must first please myself.
I know that these comments are said with the intention of being helpful. However, they do not help me at all.
It is not that I wish to ignore the reality. I just happen to think that part of living a full and satisfied life is about taking risks, testing my personal limitations and stepping out of my comfort zone from time to time. I wish to grow as a human being as a result.
So I decided that I will not listen to such comments. If nobody around me will encourage me, I must learn to trust in myself, and trust in my own abilities. It is not an easy thing to do but I hope it will make me stronger.
If doubt is torture, then self-doubt is just torturing yourself.
What is the point?