Why You Should Write Even When You Feel Insecure about Your ideas
“If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win.” ~ Richard Branson in Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life.
As a child, I was invisible.
I sat in silence when the teacher left the room, and the other kids chattered away. I did exactly as I was told.
I carried the silence home and didn’t say much. I let my older siblings, and even my younger sister, contribute to conversations. It wasn’t that I was afraid; I felt that what I had to say didn’t matter.
I had no confidence.
Then suddenly I had an opinion so strong I had to share it. But it didn’t require talking. All I needed was a piece of paper and a pen to express my anger, the justified outrage of an eight-year-old.
There was no internet or World-Wide-Web. Cell phones were about 22 years into the future. It was snail mail, and that black phone attached to the wall. If you wanted to leave a message, you needed an answering machine. And they were practically unheard of.
We actually missed calls in those days.
Now here I am publishing online, so I guess I’ve gotten over my shyness and lack of confidence, to a large extent. I’ve had some success here, but there are tens of thousands of other writers that have had more. They’re younger, more experienced, and have perfected the formula.
So why listen to me?
And why bother sharing your ancient ideas? Why even try?
Your Old Ideas are New to Many Readers
I’ve written about being old and old things. And even though everything is relative, I am a lot older than some very successful writers. I’ve read their stuff, taken courses from them, and am well aware that I’m nowhere near the top. I’m a newbie of sorts.
And if I’m going to write about experiences, I need to go way back to the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Who cares? That’s ancient history — dumb crap. But somehow I’m still here plugging along, collecting followers some who are older and some who are, believe it or not, younger than me.
So is it really dumb crap?
Well, the proof is in the numbers.
And the answer is no.
Shift Your Perspective
Self-doubt is common. Sadly, the longer we feed our insecurity, the more ingrained it becomes. It’s no different when it comes to writing, and you haven’t used your voice, either written or spoken. You’re less likely to publish online, and if you do, you’re easily discouraged.
But the truth is, some writers don’t know any more than you and some know a lot less.
Who are you dance your old fingers over the keyboard? Who are you to publish? No one will like it. You know this, even though you’ve never hit that green “Publish” button.
The sky will fall; the world will end.
I don’t think so. Chances are people will find commonalities and “aha” moments.
If you share your story to reach out and do so with an open heart and open mind, you will connect. Yes, proofread for spelling, grammar and see that your ideas flow, but then leap.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
What if people don’t agree with you?
So what? If people don’t disagree, then you haven’t taken a stand or said much. But even the majority of those that don’t agree, won’t eviscerate (gut) you.
If it means nothing to them, they’ll click to the next story.
Remember, this is the internet, and you’ll never meet these people anyway. It’s kind of like when you drive, and the car isn’t a person. People are rude, they beep and cut you off, yet you get to where you’re going regardless.
Once you see something written down, you come face-to-face with your thoughts. You get the opportunity to read and re-read which means you’ll rethink and reevaluate.
Even reading your own writing can be educational.
Maybe you’ll use the internet to do a little fact-checking. Seeing an idea on paper makes it solid. It makes you accountable, and it will make you careful.
Writing can transform or even change your opinion.
Speak with Authority, Not Arrogance
Present your ideas and opinions and back them up with facts. Use the link feature to backlink to research and newspaper articles that you’ve read.
If you debunk an opposing view, give it the same respect and attention you give your argument. And no biting. Leave out any name-calling. Just present the facts.
Sure, you’ll get those that disagree and say vile things. They’re knowns as trolls. But that’s a small percentage. I’ve been writing on this platform a year and a half and have encountered very few.
And they sound so ridiculous that they shoot themselves in the foot. Ignore them.
Most readers are here to share ideas and debate. They’ll leave thought-provoking comments and read and respond courteously. In the process, you’ll begin to build a following.
But nothing will happen if you don’t speak out.
When I wrote that letter at the age of eight, it was the beginning of my love affair with writing. And once I gave my opinion a voice, people started to notice me.
I was no longer invisible.
So what are you waiting for?
Write it out and send it out to the world.
People are waiting to hear from you.
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