The 4 Thoughts That Help Me To Keep Publishing Articles (and That Might Help You, too)
Because, in the end, there is nothing to be intimidated by, isn't it?
You -and I- may wish that someday our work will have proper recognition and exposure, yet, we all know we write for a specific reason in the first place.
If you have been writing for a while but are feeling shy to publish one of your works (and I hope it is not the case for all of them), allow me to have this discussion with you.
We - writers- are willing to exhibit the writing skills we have been keeping secret for ourselves so far. Except we might face a strange feeling or two when it comes to send our work to the editing team, and make it available to be read to anyone on the Internet.
Have you ever freaked out before submitting a piece of writing?
I did. Oh, God knows I did, and probably so do you. But why would we feel anxious before taking the plunge and presenting our art (that took our time and energy) on the Internet, you asked? Because, in the end, there is nothing to be intimidated by, isn't it? After all, we are just a teeny tiny group of 4.4 billion users behind the screens, and we are just about to show a part of ourselves to anyone who takes an interest in reading our writing. Yes... it's just that.
Nevertheless. everything that happens during the writing process is another story, and we all know it's hard work and it's time consuming. Therefore, we need to overcome our shyness and do our best to dare to publish our pieces of writing by letting in 4 positive thoughts in the back of our head.
1. Let's get our fake fears the f*ck out of here
By overcoming our negative thoughts and fears, you -and I- can improve our work and end up feeling comfortable about posting content. You will see, when you have done it twice or more, it will become a (good) habit. Not to mention the enthusiasm you will experience anytime your articles will get approved: it becomes quickly addictive.
So, here we are - writers: expressing our ideas behind a screen, answering multiple questions that cross our mind, and growing a passion for writing.
Yet, there is one little issue that I'm personally facing (and that I need to fix): I came to the conclusion that I'm shy of publishing because not only am I afraid of seeing my work being judged, but also me, as a person. Well, stop thinking about that right now! My gut feeling is telling me.
I'm afraid of not getting everyone's validation and being criticized for what I write. But you know what? I'm also aware that is a reality. I will receive a bunch of critics the day I decide to go out of my coziness and publish my work.
Critics are sometimes positive, and they are sometimes less pleasant to hear, but it is all fine because I cannot satisfy everybody anyway, and so can't you. Some people may say we are idiots. Other people may say we help them to feel good, or we brought them something positive thanks to our writing. But let me tell you:
Any boundary you see in front of you is the simple and inefficient work of your imagination.
When it comes to the creative process, you can tell it yourself: you adore some authors and their style, and for some, you can barely read them. You love some shows and their humor, and for some, you wonder yourself why they have been produced (and why the Hell are they still programmed?) You like some pieces of art and the emotions they bring within yourself, and for some, you would just call them pieces of shit.
And while it is real and honest to think that way, the "negative" comments should not stop you from trying. Any boundary you see in front of you is the simple (and inefficient) work of your imagination. While you may not be a master in writing yet (besides, the 10,000 hours rule turns out to be wrong), you are in the learning process. And let me tell you, regarding that activity that is writing, your knowledge and improvements are both endless.
Yet, the more we write, the better we become. Which means we need to allow ourselves to write shit. We need to accept that our work will not be utterly amazing right away. We need to correct ourselves over and over again because we will always, always, find some details to change in any writing we submit.
My tip here? Once a work gets published, do not look at it. Reviewing and editing would have been done by the time your article will be online. So, let it be and focus on your next work.
2. Let's be ready to learn and to improve, and let's be ready for real
Ok, I have to tell you something; my first piece of writing... ugh, the worst!
In my opinion, that was such a piece of garbage that I sent multiple requests to get my work back because I needed to make corrections on it. Sure, after emailing back and forth the editorial team, I eventually (and finally) ended up resting my work as it was.
Saying it was a a terrible piece of writing was my own opinion, and I couldn't get that thought out of my mind.
Nevertheless, that very first work, that took me so long before thinking it was more or less okay, turned out to be featured a few months later.
Here, you can find it: Being Smitten With Someone
Still, I believe I could have done way better than that. We can always do better. Yet, that article is proof that I was being too harsh towards myself. I also noticed that writers might have a really hard time to believe in their own capabilities, and their own talent. But if you and I keep having doubt about what we are able to create by the end of the year, we will have only one article published - if not nothing. And even if the point is not to post a billion articles a year (especially if there is no content in those), we still want to challenge ourselves.
You still want to explore your abilities to write about different topics. You always want to involve your capacity to understand how your own true-self functions and reacts to this crazy world. You still want to get more in-depth answers to all the questions you happen to think of. You always want to share a bit of your madness because you wish deep, deep down that you are not the only one to feel that way.
And if I try to add this to my previous point, what I can tell you right now is, keep going on your writing because you are obviously not the worst writer ever.
3. Let's take our bag and push ourselves to go on a very long and intense adventure
Keep creating despite your negative thoughts.
Pack any negative thoughts in a box and leave it in your cellar (because nobody likes to go downstairs anyway, so I know you won't go back there to pick it up.) Take a backpack with you, head toward the porch, and get the Hell out of your comfort zone. Start your journey and start climbing the mountain full of words, posts, columns, and articles that stands just in front of your face.
You will not be the first one to do it and undoubtedly not the last one. But you know as much as I know that in your innermost being, you want to be a Good Writer.
So many people have already started their journeys, why do not you begin yours?
I don't remember how many times I asked myself this question, but I guess it took me a while before I decided to act on it. Please, do not wait as long as I did.
Also, know that while you're still hesitating on wether you should publish or not, you might never be all alone at the bottom of this mountain. The reality is, some people never dare to put their hands on the rough surface. Instead, they are spectators, and they look at the others working their asses off to climbing. Paradoxically, those people are usually the ones who take the liberty of being critical and judgmental. Now the question is: Do you want to be part of that group, or do you prefer challenging yourself on this huge but not impossible mountain? Question that goes to myself, too.
4. Let's give it a true shot, and wait... and let's see what happens
I believe I cannot fail at something I have never tried before. I can only learn and grow out of it. I can only develop better strategies and create better content. I should cut myself some slack, not to be too cruel towards my work and my skills. In other words, I should try to keep a fair judgment. - little Mathilde
(Yes, please, make sure you do tell yourself the same)
But the truth is, we are going to judge our work (if we do not do it yet) and see it as the worst piece of crap that we have ever done or even read before. But this does not help you -or me- (and we are probably exaggerating anyway). Instead, this will be a killer to our motivation, and the reasons as to why we started writing will vanish little by little.
Let's try our best not to lose sight of our ultimate goal.
We all have an answer as to why we spend time gathering letters and words. As to why we express our most profound ideas, thoughts, and conceptions, if not jokes or anecdotes (instead of chilling in front of Netflix.) And we should never ever forget your reasons.
So, just to be clear with myself, and you; it is hard work. It is f*cking hard work, but if we believe in ourselves, and in our skills, our dreams to reach the top of the mountain we have been picturing in the back of our heads all this time might come true. And let's not be afraid of going there.
We need to keep climbing that Mount Everest even if we do not move on at the same pace all the time.
Now, let me show you how it is useless to be scared sh*tless of climbing that enormous mountain: any level is reachable. Your ultimate goal is reachable. You might not see the peak of the hill right now, yet, if you keep holding tight and focusing, you will soon be above the clouds. And guess what you can see above the clouds? That's right – the peak. But do not stop there. You are not done yet. In reality, you and I are never really done. Whether we like it or not. Which is why we need to keep climbing that Mount Everest, even if we do not move on at the same pace all the time.
Look, I am gathering my ideas from this mountain at the moment I write this–and maybe I am waving at you right now if we are on the same level–but I am in the process of trying to keep a fair judgment as well, and I keep moving up and learning and growing.
Sometimes I have to face the mass of unhealthy thoughts, too. When I do not have to deal with a heavy rain of tears, I do have to hold tight not to let that shitty wind of evil thoughts make me fall and abandon my projects.
The beliefs we hold in our minds might show some inconsistency sometimes. As a result, if we do not stagnate in our evolution because of them, at the very least, we take more time to climb—and we all know that our patience has limits.
So, keep your writing on track, whatever the mood you are in. (and I swear, I will do the same)
So, basically, if you are anything like me, you need to:
a) Learn how to climb the mountain so that you will preserve your motives and goals.
b) Learn how not to let your unhealthy thoughts annoy you, therefore you will keep moving forward.
c) Learn how to look at your evolution, as a result, you will overcome your hesitations and self-doubts, and you will keep writing and creating content and living free.
d) Learn. Period.
The production and publication – and success – of any article require hours of research, reviews, and corrections. So, if you write content that you end up being proud of: come up with a great title, publish your new piece, and promote it. Nothing should stop you from going further.
And look: I published that article, even though some negative thoughts came to visit my mind in the writing process...
Now, rise, shine, and kick ass.
Until next time,
Mathilde Clemence –