I know someone who recently decided to become a writer. Woke up one day with an idea and decided to write a book. Out of the clear blue. He started a blog and is promoting a Kickstarter and company. Out of nowhere. Has no writing experience. Has written nothing more than emails in the past. But, today, he is a writer. He’s having a book release party. Being interviewed on podcasts.
And I have been really pissed off about it. I’ve been working as a writer in some capacity for nearly 10 years. Had my blog for three. And I haven’t had near the success he’s claiming.
But am I mad at him? Or at myself? (I just read that in Carrie Bradshaw’s voice).
My anger is certainly displaced. While part of me wonders if his “success” is embellished, he is putting himself out there. He is the king of self-promotion. Shares his posts across every social media channel and begs for likes and shares and reads. Most people I know in real life don’t even realize I have a blog. I rarely promote it. I don’t talk about it, unless someone happens to ask me a question. I think because I am scared of how people will react. Because I don’t want to face rejection. I don’t want to be vulnerable. And so I sit, stagnant after years of work. All because I’m afraid. That’s what really makes me angry.
And I’m angry that I lack the confidence of those of you who consistently promote and brag and share. Those who contact companies. Those who start your own businesses. But I don’t have it. Many people would describe me as a ball-buster. I’m the first to stand up for myself and others in certain situations. But when it comes to work and writing and blogging, I am meek. I prefer sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone else become successful. And then I get pissed off about it. It’s a vicious cycle of passive-aggressiveness that I can’t seem to claw my way out of.
Once you put yourself out there, failure is easier to measure. And I’m so afraid of failing and embarrassment that I keep things to myself. It can be a lonely way to live.
As I was writing this, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes, courtesy of Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything that you gave me.”” What am I leaving on the table? What am I not exploring because I’m afraid? What a sin it is.
So, friends, I implore you to be a little more like the guy I mentioned above. He is using everything he was given. Every last drop of ambition and hard work and grit. Don’t be afraid to go after your dreams. Don’t be afraid to share your talent with everyone. Don’t be afraid of rejection or ridicule. Do have confidence in your skills. Know that determination and persistence and fearlessness will take you far. And use everything you’ve been given.
Is this a struggle for you? How do you get past it?