My students and I talked about our writing fears last night, and I was blown away by their honesty and their vulnerability. Toward the end of our conversation, I thought of something Jennifer Luitweiler wrote this week:
Saying “I don’t know if I can do this,” out loud, to someone I trusted triggered something fierce and undying in me. Articulating my doubts and fears and the ever-so-small panic attack pulled back the curtain, revealing in the same breath how small Can’t really is.
There’s something about expressing our fear that takes lifts some of it’s weight, that disarms it somehow. I love that.
Over and over again, I hear people saying, “I can’t think of myself as a writer.” I’ve said the same thing myself. Some of that is driven, I think, by cultural definitions of what a “writer” is – cabins in back woods, and Stephen King, and flowy satin robes or smoking jackets – but some of that hesitation comes from a belief that we are not creative enough, talented enough, good enough to be what we really want to be.
Today, I challenge you to stop thinking of that. I challenge you to adopt Janet Oberholtzer’s motto that says I will do something “Because I Can.”
In this short video, David Kelley talks about the way so many of us define ourselves as “not creative” either because of our own association with that term or because someone, sometime when we were brave and bold in our creativity told us we weren’t good enough. Give yourself the treat of this video today. Face your fear; build your creative confidence.
I’ll do the same.