Putting yourself out there as a Writer

What if I’m not good enough?

What if they laugh, sneer, or use my work as a bad example?

What if I fail?

Without bravery, I’d still be working a stressful and mostly unsatisfying job in retail.
I’d still be questioning if I was good enough to be a writer, instead of showing people just how much I can do.

To all of those questions you see above and the others running through your mind:

So what?

Why let potential failure stop you?

Because being brave isn’t always easy. I understand that when you see those motivational posts and speeches, it feels unhelpful, it doesn’t shut off the anxious voices in your head telling you that you don’t know what you’re doing.

Do you want to know a secret? Probably the biggest thing you learn once you hit adulthood…

no-one really knows what they’re doing.

Or if they’re good enough, smart enough, funny enough… You’re not alone in your worries, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try anyway. It’s really scary, and then freeing when you finally put yourself out there – you might not get the response you expected but people will notice – it will never be as bad as you think.

I’ve always written in some form, but it became a regularity when I started blogging and doing a little background novel writing, but I still didn’t feel like a writer, I just was this artsy kid who was obsessed with the craft and stationery store. I did a few freelancing jobs, a few proofreading/editing jobs for people, but again still felt fraudulent, I’m not a REAL writer.

This continued for months.

I just decided one day that even though it wasn’t covering the bills, I was always writing something, I wrote and I did it regardless of my finances or whims, I couldn’t stop. I was a writer. So I started calling myself one and talking to my family and friends about it. Gradually I stopped being really labeled as anything else because I wrote a lot, I talked about writing, people saw my writing and the times when I complained about writing too! I started to then apply for more things and to be asked to do more things, I was seen as Charl – the Writer and now I don’t want to be labeled in any other way, I’m a creative and professional writer.

I’m not going to give any false information or expectations here, writing alone still doesn’t cover all my bills, but it is and always will be a big part of my life. I am a writer.

I remember first typing that out on LinkedIn and my webpages – Writer. It is a weird feeling and there are some days where I feel like somebody somewhere is going to come up to me and say No, you’re not in our club, please cease and desist. In spite of that, I write anyway. Having a label that you like can sometimes help you to be that thing, it gives you a validity you didn’t have before (also, getting published/paid helps too!). I call myself a writer and now I write more than ever, people treat me as such and I’m loving it.

So put yourself out there, because who knows what’s going to come your way once people really start to see you, the writer.

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