|Photo Credit: insEyedout on Flickr|
When I first started writing, I didn't know which way was up. I loved reading and understood that writing would open up all kinds of new worlds for me to explore, but beyond that, I had no clue what I was doing. Heck, I didn't even know if I was allowed to be a writer. I felt like I needed to ask someone for permission.
I required constant validation for my work and sought it outside myself. This painful endeavor caused my to badger my friends and family to read my half-finished drivel. The feedback I received was less than stellar. The more I read and listened to criticism, the more I felt I wasn't cut out to be a writer. I would never publish anything. No one would want to read my work.
I'm not finished growing, but I've come a long way since that low point in my creative life. If I could write a letter to my younger self, here's what it would sound like:
You won't be the next Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Rowling. You probably won't even be that kid who got published when she was twelve. But you know what? That's okay. You're not meant to be any of those people. You're meant to be you.
As a writer, you need to focus on two things: reading and writing a little each day. Nothing else matters. Sure, you can listen to what people say about your work, but you should take their words lightly. They're as terrified as you are, and still figuring out the whole "writing" thing, too. So don't let the critics get you down, my darling. You can do it.
Keep reading and writing even when it feels like the world is falling down around you (because it never truly is). Art is a support system for life. Draw strength from your work.
Above all, keep moving forward. I believe in you.
What do you think? What would you write in a letter to your younger self?
In a letter to her younger self, blogger @brianawrites shares some writing advice. (Click to tweet)