“If you wish to be a writer, write” – Epictetus
I am a published author. I wrote my first book ten years ago, and my second book is scheduled to be released in May 2020. I have always enjoyed writing, but due to a major disappointment with my first book, I gave up. I didn’t write for almost ten years. It wasn’t until I began to heal myself that I was able to learn the lessons my disappointments came to teach me. I have recently had two close friends ask advice about writing a book. Here is the highest wisdom I can offer to anyone who desires to write a book but feels unsure. This wisdom can be applied to any and all creatives.
Just do it! If you want to write, write. That is possibly the hardest part of writing a book. Sitting down and taking the time to connect with your creative mind and channel that energy into words. It is a fun process. There is no right way to write.
Trust your voice and speak your truth. Resist the impulse to compare yourself to other people. You are one of a kind, unique individual. Do not try to cram yourself in a mold you were never designed to fill. Share your unique perspective with the world. Let us see and hear and experience the world through your eyes.
Don’t be afraid to be you. Lack of authenticity happens when we think or feel that we have to offer is not enough. You are enough, and you are worthy. You will never be perfect by anyone else’s standards, but you can be perfectly you.
Stay open during the process. You may think you know what you are creating and why you are creating it, but this is apart of the process that is outside of your control. Creation is a collaboration, a beautiful dance with the infinite mind that is ever-present and available to you. Creativity is a divine quality that emanates from outside of our physical mind. It is a flow we step into when we allow ourselves to be available to it. When I think of any creative expression, I understand it as a stream. There are times we step in and splash around and have fun. There are also times when we have to do a little bit of paddling before some movement. My favorite is when the flow is so swift that we are carried away and almost drowned. Creativity can’t be forced; it just is, which leads me to my next word of advice.
Don’t confuse production with creation. Creation is easy, blissful fun; production is toiling, arduous work. There is that saying when you do what you love, it is not work. The same goes for creating. When you are no longer having fun take some time and access why. When I find that I am toiling over something, I leave it alone. Sometimes your motives are off, and you need a break. Other times there is something else that wants to come forth in the creative process, and that causes a block until you stop to explore it. It isn’t uncommon for me to be writing about something, and another idea comes forth.
Resist the urge to speak negatively about what you created and do not concern yourself with the opinion of others. This is a hard one. We have a tendency to seek validation by being critical of ourselves in front of others. We put ourselves down so that others can lift us up. Appreciate and enjoy your own work. Never criticize yourself, especially not in front of others. Be proud of your work, learn, and grow.
Check your motives and detach from outcomes. If you are creating for someone else, your motives are off. Create because you love it, create because you have a story only you can tell. Create because it makes you feel alive. Expect nothing but the joy of creating. Should you have goals, absolutely, but don’t be married to what success looks like. Success, for me, is the joy I had during the process and the lessons I learned in exploring the world outside of yourself. Creating is about personal growth and expansion if that happened that I am successful.
Do not minimize your accomplishments and success. Be excited about what you are creating. Share the joy that it brings you. Too often, we compare ourselves to other people and belittle ourselves and our accomplishments. Be proud of yourself and the creations you have brought forth into the world.
Pursue your passion. Do what you love and love what you do. Never stop creating. When you make room for your, your passion will make room for you.