2 things i learned about being a writer at age 61.
What irks me
Whether listening to Audible or reading in Kindle, when the subject is one of these 3 topics; Writing, Mindfulness, productivity I have a problem every time.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Stephen King On Writing, James Clear on Atomic habits, Andy Puddicombe on Mindfulness or any other book / Blog.
At some point — usually early on in the narrative — there comes a sentence such as “I began — — at age — — -.” And it irks me.
Okay, it isn’t exactly irking, but a dark anxiety arises within.
In about 1/3 second my mind does this;
How can you possibly catch up with decades of experience?
Why are you even doing this?
How can you run a blog?
Do you really expect to finish your novel?
How dare you post on social media after reading many quality examples from others?
How dare you call yourself a writer when you are alone?
After this happened numerous times, I finally learned two things;
You don’t need permission to write.
Well actually you do but; the permission to be a writer doesn’t come from social media, your parents, your spouse, your peers or anywhere else.
The only one who has to grant you permission to write is you.
And you must give yourself permission to be a writer once…and for all.
Stephen King himself gave you permission if you have ever read On writing. But that has little meaning for this text, you must be (not become) a writer.
No, I have no Pin wand over my desk. (Vision board)
No, I have no cup with I am a writer printed on it. (I will reward myself after finishing my first novel with that)
No, I don’t tell everyone I know or meet that I am a writer.
But I am a writer and you are too if you’ve read this far.
This is my first post on Medium, a social platform for writers.
My Blog has less than 100 followers.
My first Novel is at 5000 words now.
This leads directly to the second thing I learned.
Do your readers care about your content on your Blog? No.
Do your Parents care? No.
Do your peers / friends care? No
Your spouse / children? No.
Does Medium care? No?
Alright, does the writer care?
Only to the degree that you pay attention to quality. Before Publishing, you sleep on it and review it.
Do the best you can.
So, who is it that cares?
Who causes procrastination and — going out on a limb here — Writer’s block?
It’s an illusion.
A character in a story, your story.
It’s the one who tells you are not a writer, and never will be.
Its name is ego, small self and it deals in anxiety, fear, dread, envy and anything else you can name which is negative toward you the writer.
Who cares if Carpe Diem (my blog) is a flop?
Who cares if I never finish my first draft of Samsara (my first novel)?
Who keeps me distracted and fearful from sitting down — every single day — to write and practice the craft?
My personal illusion.
If you’ve trusted me to read this far than trust me now.
The only thing holding you back, telling you stories about failure is the ego.
It is a lie!
It is only an illusion!
You got this!
I hope I’ve touched your head and heart.
Age doesn’t matter anymore than what keyboard you use.
Experience doesn’t matter because you are here at Medium and I refuse to believe that anyone will be cruel to you. Either here or at your personal blog.
You are a writer and don’t let that illusion ever tell you otherwise.