I read a tweet from another author battling with how overwhelming it is to see so many writers in the online community. Although the writing community is a supportive place filled with advice, guidance, sharing and constructive feedback, the tweeter felt discouraged by the size. She was another needle in an ever growing haystack.
I can relate to her feelings. I am sure many of us have heard that voice in our head discouraging us to continue with our passions.
You are not good enough.
You are not talented enough.
They are better than you.
Why bother when there is somebody else out there already doing it?
A flood of comments responded to her post; comments aimed at encouraging her. And one particular comment struck me. The person pointed out that if someone handed out a creative idea to all of us, we would each write it differently.
And that, my dear friends, is the point. Each of us is different. We are a combination of all that has shaped us to be us. There are billions of us in this world dreaming and desiring to do what we are passionate about. Yet, so many of us continue to push down our passions. So many of us listen to that voice of discouragement and do as it says.
Well, I could go into the theories why we act that way. But I won’t. There is no reason to. Fact is, fear is a key factor that holds so many of us back. Fear is the reason we look back with regret at the things we wish we would have done or said.
I suppose my main point for today isn’t actually to ignore that voice—although you really should. That negative voice can get lost. My main point is to reach out. If you have something you are thinking of doing, wishing to do, but feel discouraged or overwhelmed enough to hold yourself back, please talk to someone. Share your ideas. Join groups that share your same interests. I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to have people around you who are supportive. We need the support of others around us to help our motivation. To encourage us to do it.
Sure, taking that leap can be overwhelming. Jumping into a writing community and feeling like you walked into an overcrowded bar of experts is what most newbies feel. Walking into a room full of actors and thinking that you are the worse one there is most probably the same thought circling the minds of over half the room. But sometimes, sometimes, you can stumble into someone who will not only get you, but will be the one that helps you come out the other end stronger, better, and ready to help others in need. I found great author friends on Facebook and Twitter. We are now collaborating on a project and continuously helping each other. We frequently communicate. Support. Teach. Learn.
Today's matra: I can. I am capable.
Or we can steal the one from Nike: Just do it!