Lie #1 I tell myself: “I’m not good enough.”
I lie to myself. Because writers can be liars.
I’m not speaking of the fictional characters we writers imagine into realness and invent pretend stories for. We tell ourselves terrific lies that impede, trick, and even paralyze us into believing untruths about ourselves as writers.
Here is a lie I tell myself.
“I’m not good enough.”
Sound familiar? I don’t think there’s a writer alive who hasn't had this thought.
Here’s another lie:
“No one is going to want to read this.”
Similar to the above thought and all-consuming when it floods into the consciousness.
The truth is, when we tell ourselves these lies, what we really mean is this:
I feel like I’m not good enough.
I worry no one is going to want to read this.
Honest thoughts posed as lies that do us no good. But there are ways to combat these lies we tell ourselves. Instead, we can tell ourselves truths.
Lie #1 I tell myself:
“I’m not good enough.”
Five Truths to help you:
Truth: This lie is normal. Yes, it is. The lie, “I’m not good enough” is your fear trying to take over. Don’t be afraid. When we recognize our fears, we can better master them. Focus instead on positive affirmations. What is something about your writing craft that you’re proud of? What are words of encouragement you would offer another writer? What is a compliment someone has offered you about your writing? PRINT THESE and have them close to you at your workspace. Accept that this is fear disguised as a lie and banish it with positivity.
Truth: You’re not alone. There is a community of writers waiting for you to join them. Seriously. Within a 50-mile radius of where I live, there are at least a dozen organized groups of welcoming writers. And there are endless online writer groups you can join, too. I’m in six. Writers are seemingly introverted, but trust me, being around other writers will help you feel less alone. And when you feel less alone that internal voice whispering “I’m not good enough” will dissipate and you’ll realize this is a common lie all writers tell themselves.
Truth: You write because you’re a writer. This may seem like a redundant statement, but think about it, you write because you enjoy it, you love your words, you love your story, you love your imaginary friends. You have a thirst that is only quenched by sitting down to write. Writers don’t write because they know they’re good enough. Writers write because they must. Do all writers get published? No. Do all writers write? Yes. Write with abandon, dear writer.
Truth: Writing begets writing. Have you heard new parents say, “sleep begets sleep” about their newborn? It’s true. And it’s the same with writing. The more you write, the better you’ll get at writing. This doesn’t mean that the lie: “I’m not good enough” is never going to cross your thoughts again, but I promise that there is something to be said about practice. And, if you’re practicing your craft, you may well be too busy for lies.
Truth: Maybe you’re not good enough yet. The word yet is powerful. It’s full of intention, focus, and the future. Yet implies there are plans. Plans that must be worked for and earned. And if you use the other truths I’ve given you to “un-lie” to yourself, you’ll eventually earn one of your most powerful writer tools: confidence. Therefore you might say, I’m not good enough yet, but I know how I’m feeling is normal, I’m not alone, I’m a writer because I write, and with writing comes practice of my craft, which will get better and I am good enough for today.
Un-lie to yourself, writer. Truth: You’re good enough. You’re a writer.