In my last blog post, I wrote about fear and how we tend to put things off for fear of looking inept or foolish. When it comes to writing, we are often afraid people will hate what we have spent months, possibly years, creating. We worry that what we have written won’t make any sense. We’re afraid of someone pointing out a misspelled word or a missing comma.
But just as there will be people who won’t like what we have created, there will be people who will love it. This is what we need to keep in mind. We need to forge ahead and create our works of art for those who will enjoy them. More importantly, we need to create for ourselves.
Joanna Penn, of TheCreativePenn.com, put it more eloquently in her recent YouTube video, Fear of Judgement. She pointed out that even our own families may not like, or even understand, the things we create. And that’s okay. They aren’t judging us, they just simply have different interests, different tastes, different likes and dislikes. It’s natural. It’s normal.
Joanna goes on to say that most of her friends and family have not read her books and she probably wouldn’t want them to. Her books show a different side of her, a darker side, that friends and family may not relate to or fully understand.
I get that.
I also have friends and family members who have not read my books. Some don’t like reading mystery novels (my preferred genre). Some just don’t like to read. (Something I really don’t understand!) Some may be afraid they won’t like my books, so they avoid reading them. And then there are those who simply don’t have the time. All valid reasons and all reasons why I shouldn’t take it personally.
And I try not to.
But even though I know I can’t please everyone with my writing, I sometimes leave things out just because I worry about what people will think. Will what I write offend someone? Will the meaning be lost or misinterpreted?
The truth is, if I leave things out, the meaning I had set out to convey has already been lost. My holding back will not do anyone any good – me or the reader.
In her video, Joanna states how writing is “powerful and healthy” and has many psychological benefits. If you are having doubts about your writing, or any other creative project, I highly recommend watching Joanna’s video. It may be just what you need to get over the hurdle.
Until next time…keep creating!