Writers deal with resistance in multiple forms almost every time they sit down to write.
Fatigue, writer’s block, laziness, criticism, overloaded schedules, day jobs, apathy – all can serve as stumbling blocks that slow down or completely stop your work.
But there is another obstacle that may be even harder to overcome than all the rest.
That nagging voice in the back of your mind that stands in accusation of your work, whispering not-so-sweet somethings to your confidence.
“Who’s going to read your writing, anyway?”
“Who cares about your opinion?”
“What difference does it make if you don’t write today?”
That voice can be amplified by the amount of technical minutiae a writer has to overcome if he wants to publish his own work – he must become publisher, webmaster, marketer, and agent – in addition to doing the writing.
“This stuff isn’t what a writer does.”
“Who’s going to listen?”
“Who’s going to pay to read this?”
“What difference does it make?”
Actually, that annoying little voice poses a good question. What difference does it make if a writer decides not to write?
It makes a surprising difference on multiple levels.
Personal – If I choose not to write, my creative outlet is squashed. I revert back to trudging through daily life one day at a time, not exploring an area that excites me about my future. Drudgery gets a stronger foothold.
Family – When I stop writing, part of me pulls back into a shell. I get bored, irritable with those closest to me, and my attitude changes – for the worse. This has a direct impact on my loved ones.
Audience – “What audience?”
Quiet, you. Even if my audience isn’t as large as Shakespeare’s or Clancy’s or Tolkien’s – even if only one person reads and appreciates my work – that one person will miss out on something if I don’t write. I pass up an opportunity to give something to them that is uniquely mine, and their lives are a little less full because of it. It really doesn’t matter if my writing doesn’t sell. The important thing is to show up and create something good for others.
Society – There are unlimited examples of crappy writing out there – mostly because authors, publishers, editors and yes, readers – accept mediocrity. Mediocre then becomes the standard, and the standard is continually lowered – unless other authors, publishers, editors and readers take a stand and refuse to be mediocre.
Bringing your best work to the table encourages others to bring theirs as well – and the standard slowly creeps back up.
What difference does writing make, you ask?
It’s the difference between something and nothing.
Reject doing nothing.
Create something good – and watch it make a difference.