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Accepting my writing

Flexing those resilience muscles and getting past my insecurities

By Emmy BPublished 5 months ago 5 min read
5

I’m pretty new to Vocal - although the first time I was new to vocal was 2 or 3 years ago. New in the sense that I’ve struggled to use it in a way that makes sense to me. When I first joined (and every time since,) I wanted to test my writing and see how people reacted to it. To get a sense of whether I was any good, whether my messages resonated, whether it was all self-glorification to even consider writing.  

Half the time I read my content and I think it’s great - and then I re-read it a week later and hate it! There were moments when I felt compelled to write, to share something intimate and vulnerable. In those moments, finding my audience or my voice, or that intangible ‘je ne sais quoi’ of writing seemed impossible. Queue all of those pesky impostor feelings. Occasionally, it provided an escape from my regular job, a distant dream of monetizing my passion. Getting discouraged became my MO - it was too easy to just go back to my job, something I earned a living doing and am overall quite good at…. and forget about writing. 

And then last year in April I made a crazy, spur-of-the-moment decision to take a sabbatical, step away from all the bullshit, and go walk 868km across Spain. I walked the Camino de Santiago. Alone. It was utter freedom and simplicity - all I had to do was walk and feel grateful. Oh, and writing in my journal every day. This was how I found myself in my writing again. During those days filled with journaling and long walks, carrying nothing but my bag and thoughts, I reconnected with myself and learned to love myself again.

I remember the day it came to me, this novel I want to write. Day 10 of my 30-day trek. After saying goodbye to a friend I had spent the previous two days with, I started the day by myself. As with every day, it was in the mornings I would do my best self-reflection. Trust me, once you reach the 4-hour mark or 20km, the focus shifts to bodily pains, mental stress, and a never-ending cycle of fears, worries, and overthinking. Luckily, I would tend to see myself switching between the two regularly, moments of real clarity and moments of sheer anxiety.  

After reaching the 31km mark on that 10th day, my planned overnight stay at a village turned out to be vastly unappealing. It was not too late and so I committed to walk 6 more kilometres to Santo Domingo de Calzada - I liked the name and was craving somewhere cute and comfortable. I’m sure you agree that Santo Domingo de Calzada has a certain cozy ring to it, no?

In any case, it was in those last 6km that day that I had that first thought. The road was winding through greenish-yellow fields, going up and down small hills. There was not a person in sight. The sun was hot, I had finally put my cap on and donned what can only be described as a mental motor. I remember that small voice in my head going: “Come on little machine, you can do it! Climb that hill.." I was flying. And through this moment of pure physical conquest, seeing myself walking up and down those hills with nothing in sight that my mind wandered out of my body and into parts of myself I had forgotten.

I had always loved reading as a kid, but hadn’t actively considered being an author - I had been pushed into more of a traditional career path, going to business school and all that jazz.. I had written poetry but had never taken myself seriously in this space, being all awkward angles and intrusive thoughts. My angst was too much even for me. Yet that day, on the last stretch of a 37km walk, ideas were bouncing in my head. Ideas, characters, fun twists on existing stories, even names for books I hadn’t even dreamt up. The ideas were everywhere and nowhere - but that feeling, deep down in my gut, in the clarity of excitement, that this was something right for me - that was everything to me.

I spent the next 4 months of my sabbatical climbing mountains and passively brainstorming. Day-dreaming my way through new countries, building in characters inspired by my travels, and exploring how to make this a reality when this trip came to its inevitable conclusion. I knew I needed a place that inspired me, the time to dedicate to writing, and a commitment to trust myself to do something that scared me. Something I have no idea whether I can do - but for me, I will.

As I sit here, I’m a month into my resolution to write this book in the next year. I’ve made changes to my lifestyle, reducing my working hours to be able to focus on this. I still don’t know if I’m any good. I still don’t know whether this is a waste of time, but it’s writing that I need to do for me. As for Vocal - my resolution is to find a way to improve my writing through this platform , to be able to write this novel in the way I want. I get scared every day, thinking: “who am I to do this?” Going on Vocal scares me sometimes when I see so many incredible creators. Yes yes, I know, that’s pure insecurity tinged with that not-so-friendly green eyed monster. I’m still working on avoiding envy. I want to move away from seeing it in this way, and seeing it more as a platform to grow together.

It’s hard to put down numbers for this although I have them for my novel. For Vocal, I want to set a few goals, but am afraid of them potentially distracting me from writing my book. I want those goals to complement my wider goals, and be a place I can continue to enjoy writing rather than it feeling like a chore (which sometimes resolutions end up feeling like!). Therefore, for the sake of constant improvement, I commit to:

  • continue contributing to the majority of challenges that are posted.
  • once a month, publish something unrelated to the challenges.
  • provide feedback on others’ content once a week.
  • join the Vocal + Assist platform (once I figure out how), and discover all of the ways that this community works together to create better writers.  

Finally - I have in the past let my ego dictate my decision to leave over and over again, caused by a lack of positive feedback. In response, I want this year on Vocal to help me get past that:

  • to accept my writing as something that maybe doesn’t stand out for the moment, that it needs work, like everything else.
  • to accept that a lack of reads is ok, to just continue trying.
  • to flex my resilience muscles on this platform,
  • to prepare me for the rejection and disappointments that will undoubtedly come my ways

I want to read and consume content, provide feedback and develop a community. I want to see and understand what speaks to me and why, to be a part of somebody else’s growth story by sharing when stories or poems touch me. 

2024 is a year for writing, and I’m glad to have a platform like Vocal to help stand up to my fears and do something that feels truly right to me.

Secrets
5

About the Creator

Emmy B

I write some of my truths, and use words to weave stories and ideas together. Writing is a passion and an outlet for me and I hope to inspire, challenge, or simply be a reflection of others's experiences - to make people feel seen!

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Comments (4)

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  • JBaz5 months ago

    I found this inspiring, truly. I hope you are successful and write your book, keep reduced work hours and enjoy life. You also have a new subscriber

  • Ava Mack5 months ago

    There is just something about reading, writing, and walking! The perfect combo. I'm so glad inspiration found you there and you're pushing through with resilience to commit to your novel! Looking forward to reading more from you, Emmy!

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    This reminds me of the long trek walking the 'White hills of Dover' in the UK. It was so beautiful, with the wide open waters as far as you could see. I have learned here that you don't just write, you have to read and encourage in order to get reads. Good luck, who knows, you could write one story and win enough to negate you writing another one, leaving us stragglers in your wake.

  • Test5 months ago

    I was truly impressed by your writing; it resonated with me, and I couldn't identify any flaws. May your day be brimming with continuous smiles.

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