3 Reasons You're Not Freely Writing + Sharing Your Stories
Anyone can write privately but it takes a brave individual to bare her soul for all the world to see. I’ve found that although I shouldn’t spill all the tea online, there are other times when I’m holding myself back from sharing altogether. I talk myself out of scheduling that blog post or working on my children’s book. Why? All because of unhealthy, irrational ideologies I’ve adopted about myself over the years.
However, I am reminded by Galatians 5:13 that you and I “are called to freedom”, and not so we can “use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love” (HCSB). When we publish our work, we’re serving one another. Have you been struggling to serve your readers with more of your dope work? Maybe it’s because of one of these three reasons:
You’re too problem-focused.
Sometimes, as you celebrate other phenomenal writers, you may point out the areas where you’re subpar. Maybe you want to work on grabbing your reader’s attention sooner. Maybe you want a more sophisticated writing style. It’s difficult to write and share if you’re too focused on what you think you don’t have.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging your limitations; however, it’s not okay to sabotage your writing altogether because you’re not where you want to be just yet. Strive for more of a balance when it comes to applauding and critiquing your skills and results. If you recognize an area in need of improvement, think of a strength you have that can help you improve in this area, too.
Your perception is biased.
Have you ever walked into a room where people were laughing until you entered? It seemed ridiculous but you wondered if they were laughing at you. Sometimes, as writers, it’s a struggle to continue creating and publishing content if you think others have a negative perception of you or your work.
I know firsthand how difficult it is to push past negative thoughts that present themselves as truth. I’ve had moments where I hesitated to send out e-letters and post social media content because I viewed myself as a fraud and thought others did, too. No one ever told me they viewed me this way; however, I projected my insecurities onto others.
When you find yourself projecting your insecurities onto others, take some time to answer the following in a journal:
- What am I telling myself about my role as a writer?
- What makes me feel as if my perspective is true?
- When am I most likely to think this way?
- Describe a moment when I realized my perspective was wrong (ex. Someone complimented my work when I didn’t think it was good.).
- What can I do to see more good in what I do?
In addition to answering the questions above, you should consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist who can help you transform your negative view of yourself into a healthy, positive outlook. Psychology Today and Therapy for Black Girls both have lists of licensed counselors and therapists that could be of use to you.
You Aren’t Sure of Your Value
If you don’t have the bestselling book (yet) and the national tours, you may be tempted to think of yourself as “just a writer”. My pastor recently preached about the danger of putting that little word “just” in front of our gift. “I’m just a mom blogger.” Or “I’m just a fantasy writer.” The danger in doing this is that we elevate others while dismissing the power in the gift God’s given us.
There’s a reason why God gave you that mom blog idea or that fantasy book idea. You may not see the big picture (yet) but God chose you for a reason to write and share your stories. You don’t have to have a fancy writing degree (no shade if you) to be used by God to write incredible stories. All you need is a willing heart, persistence, and intentional action.
Don’t forget, even though David didn’t seem like “the obvious choice” for Israel’s first king, he’s exactly who God chose. There are readers who will accept what you have to say because you have a particular way of reaching them where they are. However, you’ve got to move past wondering if your words are valuable enough.
It’s time to write that book, write that article, and build that platform. Publish those stories intentionally, knowing that you are enough and so is your gift. Give yourself permission to freely write and share your work. What have you got to lose?