I read something on social media this week that really hit home hard for me, it was "the fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else". I definitely can attest to this. Lately I've been trying to better my creative writing skills by writing simple short stories of my own, I'm not feeling as brave yet to share it with anyone so it remains in my digital diary for now. In spite of this, the confidence in my writing grew with each chapter but then I made the mistake of reading other people's work and down the wormhole of joyless writing I went. I began to doubt my storylines, hate my characters and dread sitting at my laptop to write. It was fun while it lasted. Cue the long looks ...
I know this lack of confidence in my own skill is down to two things (for me personally), one that I still have that school of thought that inorder to become an acclaimed writer, or even a writer to begin with, you need to have some sort of formal qualification that justifies your using the title of "writer". And two, females (and I know some are going to groan and roll their eyes at this but stay with me) especially those of us who come from a conservative upbringing, have always been made to second guess our abilities. Our calling in life somehow predetermined by what the society we grew up in, expects of us. It continues into adulthood because... patriarchy.
I've found that as thick-skinned as I claim myself to be, I do get affected by messages I receive that question my line of thought. I’ve noticed I tend to hold back now with sharing on social media or in my blog posts anything too detailed that has to do with my children or my spouse because I don't want them to be subjected to that line of questioning either. I've found also that I tend to lose my confidence in writing creatively and in turn go through a slump where I lose interest altogether in creating my short stories. In doing so, I end up stalling my storylines and developing of my characters. I have a few female blogger/writer friends who feel the same and will tend to edit & re-edit their work, overthinking how the audience will take what they have written onboard, and it's no wonder because we are held to a different standard. We get questioned about our content, the stats we use, facts & issues we raise or even why we are writing in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, my support network in terms of family and friends, or even those who follow my blog is amazing. They encourage me and also hold me accountable to my sometimes warped views on issues but they do it from a place where they want me to grow and excel in my creative writing.
I guess what I'm trying to get at in this whole ramble is, comparison and those tiny voices of doubt that keep trying to tell you that you will never be good enough in what it is you're trying to achieve is ultimately what is robbing you of your achievements. It's what robs you of that something special you were meant to do. It's what robs you of your end goal vision and you shouldn’t allow it to do so because as a good friend told me and reminds me over and over again each and every time, there's enough seats at the table for everyone.
Hope your weekend goes as planned. Loloma levu from the cold North.