A Pep Talk to Keep in Your Back Pocket
As a writer, you spend hours on perfecting blog posts and articles. You spend months writing the first draft of a book only to spend another year or two editing and editing and editing. And once you put your words out into the world you must face down the inevitable critique. There are going to be people who don’t like, don't approve of, don't understand what you say. There are going to be people who take it a step farther and don't like YOU. Don't approve of YOU. Don't understand YOU. And after the first scathing comment on your blog or review on goodreads, you might ask yourself, why am I even doing this?
Why put myself out there, lay myself bare for the world to ridicule and criticize? I mean, really.
And my answer is simple. Because sharing your story matters. Sharing yourself--openly, with vulnerability, the good and the ugly--matters. Lives are changed by stories. Stories inspire action and connection. When one person finds the courage to stand up and speak truth, they give readers permission to do the same. By letting your readers know that they aren’t alone, you give them permission to show themselves.
Words are powerful. They free us from the confines of physicality. They allow us to be everywhere at once. As a friend, a child, a partner, a parent—you can touch the lives of those closest to you. As a writer—you can touch the lives of thousands, millions even. You can touch the lives of those who need it most, those who don’t have a friend, a child, a partner, a parent.
Over the years, the words of others have helped me find myself, find purpose, find a way to be in the world. They have been friends and support and encouragement when I couldn't find any nearby.
We used to have to go to the library or a book shop to browse the stacks looking for words that might resonate with us. Now we have them at our fingertips. And we used to have to gain the approval or interest of a decision maker in the publishing world to speak our truth to the world. Now we can say whatever we want somewhere in the public sphere.
For better or worse, more of our words have greater reach than they ever have. And readers have the opportunity to reach right back. People who want to speak louder than you-- to silence your voice are out there shouting. Do not be silenced by fear. Fear of their judgement and opposition. It may feel awful to take on the vitriol of those who disagree with your existence, your statements, your truth. But they can only silence you if you let them. And they can only hurt you if you let them.
If the response of readers isn't productive, isn't helping you become a better writer, isn't helping you become a better person, then just put your hands back to the keys, your mind back to the words and keep moving. Do not let the nameless masses control how you make your name in the world.
I've chosen to use vocal.media as my public sphere because it makes sharing my work and words easy. And it gives me access to the words of 1000s of other creators who know their words are worth sharing. Vocal creates a value market for creators, allows patrons to support writers directly and is fighting against the online market that devalues the work of writers.
Tips are always appreciated and allow my creation to happen full time.
About the Creator
Author of the award-winning debut memoir, Alone in Wonderland. Christine writes about outdoor adventure, familial relationships, friendship, grief and trauma. She's passionate about hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, & storytelling.
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