This is one of those self-addressed posts that we all need once in a while. I'm hoping to balance being my own worst critic with a small vote of confidence. And so...
Talk to any artist about their grand masterpieces and they'll point out all the flaws. Ask any poet or author whether they've finalized their work, and they'll nod even as they recall that one or two phrases that could be more polished. An artisan in any field is a perfectionist at heart. It's just the way it is.
This is why it only takes one slam into a writer's block, one less than kind review, and we bleed confidence like a sieve.
But everything in life has two sides, doesn't it? Life is constantly struggling with that balance, and it's us who ride these whimsical currents.
Sometimes you're knocked down so far into a hole, you don't even bother looking up for that pinpoint of light that promises something better. It's almost easier to curl up and become one with the darkness surrounding us.
And if you don't, go back and focus on that one review that someone took the time to write. Focus on the praise, focus on how much what you wrote touched that one person.
Now that you believe in your writing once more, look up, and make your way out, slowly, steady, and patiently.
Different obstacles will trip you up, like that job you hate to go to; the cell phone bill or any of those monthly fees we have no choice but to pay. Some of those will inevitably knock you back down and leave you wondering whether what you write matters.
Perhaps there's someone out there who has it worse. Perhaps tragic events will bring you a new perspective and you learn to appreciate your own situation, despite the bad.
You're in full control of your ascent. Know that. Remember it. Let your creativity conjure up new characters, give them a voice, give them a life, and believe in your story.
You might walk into a bookstore, probably the most intimidating setting for an Indie author. Long to be there with the John Grishams and the Suzanne Collins's of the world. It might be easier to ran back home, determined to delete your story, and it might be easier to fall and forget to write another word.
What you write matters. When characters take over the writing and use you to build their lives on the page, you need to believe in the story, and know that it will touch someone in some way. It'll make them write praises and more than a few lines that will feel like the pats on the back we all want, but don't always know that we deserve them. That review will make you believe.
Javier A. Robayo
inspired by the newest review for The Gaze