I am participating in the Writing contest: You Are Enough hosted by Positive Writer in which we are to try and inspire others into believing in themselves and in their writing abilities.
I’ve honestly struggled with this notion for the greater part of my life. I’ve enjoyed my writing and believed in myself as a writer for probably just the last four years, even though I’ve been writing all my life.
The thing is, I’d always had an obsession with being the best but I also knew I was nowhere near to what I thought “being the best” entailed. So I berated myself when my first draft of anything wasn’t the most lyrical, philosophical prose in all the land. I called myself an idiot and constantly told myself I would never be good enough. Even when others would read my work and give me praises I would assume they were just being nice. On the few occasions I managed to finish a piece, I would never show it to anyone because I never considered anything worth sharing.
I was caught up chasing perfection. I wanted to write exactly like Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë–like someone entirely different than who I was because who I was, whatever I had to offer, was not good enough.
I started going through a midlife/existential crisis about four years ago. Unsurprising since I was unhappy with my life and it was obvious why. I had repressed myself into a tiny compact ball. I hid in the dark afraid to ever show any part of me to the world, convinced that I wasn’t worth anything. But it didn’t take much for me to realize that I didn’t want to die without having ever known what it feels like to be happy in my own skin, to love who I am. I wanted to feel like I had a right to my place in this world. I was also aware that I was the only one who could do anything about that.
That was the ticket. That midlife/existential crisis helped me to strip away everything that was unessential. It’s helped me get in touch with my organic needs. To throw aside all the masks I’d hoped to wear and face myself as I was. Once I understood that everything began to fall into place—writing included. Once my work on loving and accepting myself was underway, I began to write more confidently. I discovered that writing was in its simplest form an exercise for my soul when it felt inspired. It was my soul’s way of wanting to give something back to the world.
In claiming my place in this planet, in this universe, in accepting so many things about myself, my positives and negatives, I realized all I had to do to be happy writing was just be myself. I had to stop trying to fit into a mold. I had to stop trying to impress. I had to stop trying to write like someone else. I had to just simply write. For me.
So why write? Why believe in yourself? For these reasons that I have learned that I now share with you. Because I am me and you are you. In all this chaos and mystery that is the universe, all the particles, and events that had to line up in a very specific sequence for each of us to come into existence, why would we ever deny ourselves our place, the chance to have our own unique voices heard?
Our creativity is our fingerprint in this great vast universe. There is no one else like you and no one else that can bring to the table what only you can. In your own unique voice and in your own unique style. Even if it’s been done before, it’s never been done by you. Even if you reach just one person and touch their heart that is enough.
We only get a short time on this earth, so make it count. Make your voice heard. Make your light shine. Claim your place. Love yourself. And write. Write like your soul needs it for survival. Because it does. Let it dance freely. Let your words be the thumbprint of your soul. And write because you are enough.