I have a few guidelines about writing that I have taken from my favorite authors.
- When I sit down to write and I think I don’t want to write about THAT, I write about that.
- Writing does not owe me anything but I owe it everything. Writing chose me. Therefore, I must show up every day and write regardless of the outcome. No one may like my work or read it and that is fine. I may wake up every day and write and yet I may never make a career out of writing and that is fine.
- I must write from my scars, not my open wounds. Whatever writing I put out in the world must come from a healed place. It must not need the approval or opinions of others to help my healing.
- Whatever writing I put out in the world must be rooted in what I believe to be true.
- I consider if my future children were to stumble upon my writing someday, would they have to ask me why I wrote something because it not something they have even seen me say or do? Basically, what I write must be based in some truth or value I live out in my life or I am trying to live out in my life.
- Fear is not the boss of me or my writing, the truth is.
- Whatever I put out in the world is not my baby. I do not follow it around and defend it or explain it to people.
- I write in order to find the basic reoccurring truths in my life. Then I share these truths when they are universal. I do not write to help people or make the world a better place. However, if the sharing of my work does that then great.
I have been asked this question recently, is there anything you see other people do and think I can do that just as well as they can? The answer is yes, writing. A similar question I have heard a few of my favorite authors ask is, what would you do even if you knew you would fail? The answer is I would write. As Elizabeth Gilbert asks, “What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?” The answer is writing.
I spent a lot of years not writing and not sharing my writing because of fear. I didn’t think I was good enough, I didn’t think anyone would like what I had to say and I didn’t think anything I had to say was original. I could go on and on with my fears because they are endless. However, I have recently reached a point where I stopped letting fear run my life and I began to write.