Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Stop thinking you aren't good enough

Stop thinking you aren't good enough...

This could have several different meanings, but the one I'm addressing specifically is to The Writer. You probably know (or are) the person I'm talking about. If so, listen up because I'm you too. (Um, yeah, just go with me on this).

I saw it just a few days ago on a facebook group. Actually, in multiple Facebook groups dedicated to writers both published and unpublished. In one instance someone apologized for not being published, as if they had to justify why they were building their writer page without a book with their name on it.

Not only that, but I've personally known and chatted with many people online who feel 'less than' wherever they are at in there writing career, as if getting published suddenly validates them as a person in addition to them as a writer.

Okay, before you go debating me about this, I am one of those people too. For the LONGEST time I've thought, "What do I have to offer? I'm not published." But I'm here to tell you today this one simple thing:

You matter. You are enough.

Let's break it down because there are some things I'm not staying with this.

I'm not saying...

...That you can speak to the ins and outs of publishing as a published author could.
You can still know a great deal about the publishing industry, but "know it" with humility.

...That you should be arrogant about your writing career.
Let's face it, published or not, no one likes being around a 'know it all'.

...That you don't still have a TON to learn.
You do. Act like it.

...That your book should be published right now.
Let's be honest (maybe painfully so?) perhaps it shouldn't be and that is okay. That's what hard work, critique, and editing is all about. Striving toward a goal is 99% work and 1% achieving that goal. Once you're there, there's always another goal to look toward, so do the work and keep doing the work.
(And guess what - published authors have to do this too!)

I am saying...

...You have valuable experiences to share with other writers, no matter their publication journey.
Only you have your unique perspective so don't withhold that until some time when you think you're "allowed" to share. Again, do so with humility.

...You are learning, along with the rest of us, and no one is above that.
This means you can share what you've learned! It's okay! But share in a way that is helpful, not so that it would shine the spotlight on you, but so that it could encourage, uplift, and enlighten.

...You have worth, even if a publisher hasn't offered you a contract.
This. THIS. Please hear me when I say that a publishing contract will not validate you as a person. Yes, it will be awesome and exciting and will feel like confirmation, but I've heard from so many of my published friends that they still struggle with self-doubt about their writing, worry about whether they are good enough, and experience anxiety over their next book. If you wrap up everything you are in getting that contract, then I'd humbly say you've missed the point. (More on this in another post soon!)

...You should keep at it.
Build your confidence, learn everything you can about the craft, but don't apologize for not being published.

I'm going to be speaking at the ACFW Conference again this year talking about building a platform BEFORE you have a book contract and that's part of why I wrote this post. You can build your platform now without a book contract and you do have worth even if you don't have a published book to your name (yet).

I would beg you to consider what you have to offer the world and to do so in a humble, teachable way. Don't apologize for where you're at in your journey. Instead, take a moment to appreciate where you've been and where you are now. Help others who are not as far along as you are, and look to those who are ahead of you for guidance and example.

Stop thinking you're not good enough and start living with confidence in a realistic view of where you are.

What do you think? Where are you at in your writing journey? Do you struggle with this? Let me know in the comments below! 

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