Lots of student writers ask me to tell them if their work is “any good.” Sometimes they’re looking for that validation, other times it’s a veiled excuse to give up. I love what C. Hope Clark (of Funds for Writers) says about scared writers: “. . . fear is the largest obstacle to their writing.” Writing Tip for Today: As Clark reminds us, only the writer can be the ultimate judge of whether they’re any good, whether they ought to keep writing or give up. That means YOU. Believing not that you are the best but that you’re always improving is the key to escaping that fear.
- Keep Your Enthusiasm. Be excited about your writing, no matter if it’s published or not. Adrenaline helps you power through rejections, weather harsh feedback and cruise past self-doubt. Even if your skills need a lot of improvement, you can be jazzed about the learning process.
- No Megalos. By enthusiasm, I don’t mean you brag about your stuff endlessly. There are lots of writers out there who don’t really want to write, they want to have written and tell everyone on the planet about what they once did. Writers write. Keep that in mind.
- Writer, Call thy Shots. Again, Clark sums up the need for writers to control their own lives: “There’s power in calling your own shots. Because with the power of growing also comes responsibility. When you are not published, you need to try harder, whether it’s in your query efforts or the quality of your word- slinging. If someone hurts your feelings, it’s because you let them. You decide what knocks you down and how hard. Not anyone else.” Thanks Hope, for the encouragement! Now, to the writers here: Get thy BIC and produce some word count.