After about a year plunging into writing with no prior experience, I can fairly say that I am still clueless. As a backstory, I graduated with a Geology degree in July 2016 and have struggled to find a full-time job. That means I have also dealt with people asking me questions like
“So where do you work now?”.
Although I understand their concern and their legitimate curiosity, I’m tired on trying to answer exactly it is that I do – that I write. Some people have also asked me as a conversation starter which I deem as innocent.
So I’d tell them
“Still looking for a job”.
I didn’t expect that I eventually wanted to pursue writing as a career, but after about a year waiting for an opportunity to come to me (I’ve lost track on how many job applications), I’ve decided to seriously take control of my situation and start doing something. I’ve decided to completely try something from square one. So, I chose to write…
Of course some things take time (job offers and interviews), so I took a break from writing on schedule.
Within those breaks, I found myself hungry to write again. Unlike before, I actually wanted to start taking a lot seriously.
Then, I’ve researched so much – too much probably – that I felt so overwhelmed and ended up being so anxious. I didn’t know what to make of those information and where I can use them. I’ve made mistakes – tons of them – as a writer and as you might expect, learned from them.
One of my biggest struggles was
to make things happen
– to start doing.
Just like some writers, I’ve kept countless drafts in my drive. Some of them I return to, but most of them I neglect. To make matters worse, I struggled with an identity crisis.
Am I really a writer? What do you call someone who writes, but not necessarily a writer? I mean it’s not like I have published anything that great. Sure… articles. Everyone can do that!
It took months for me to build my confidence and self-esteem to finally make a progress – to take a leap. I’ve dealt with my insecurities and emotions; I’ve dealt with my mind and everything within me that hindered me from pursuing it. I know those doubts will probably return and come creep me again, making me feel like an impostor. But I guess the only way to find out how good, or how bad you are as a writer is to actually write. Pitch. Receive harsh criticisms and deal with it. It’s pretty harsh, but I guess that’s how you grow.
It’s difficult to say where I am right now as a writer. Or if I even am one… What I know for sure is I am starting over and that I am trying to write every day as a habit.
I am keeping my doors open for any opportunities that may come my way, but I’ve become less tense than before about the possibilities of rejections and failures. Why do you think I’ve called myself a confused writer? Sometimes, the best way to deal with insecurities is to jokingly self-depreciate yourself and only to find out that it’s not that bad – that you are probably a perfectionist.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent way too much researching than actually start doing.
So, all of those fears of failure would come because you haven’t created for a while. When you’ve neglected those advice (not all of them) and start creating, it’s actually not as bad as you thought. Am I right?
Anyway, if you are pursuing something so uncomfortable to you right now, I hope you know that it’s okay to feel insecure and to take your time to make it happen.
I’ve seen way too many advice that dismiss people who “make excuses” from starting. Yes, I guess some people are fired up by that. But there are people who have been walking on a thin thread for so long that they’re afraid to fall again; they need time to pick themselves again. Sometimes, people do appreciate reassurance that they are in a sense “good enough” to start, especially from experts or those who have been in a particular field.
Whatever you do, don’t stop despite battling with yourself because as we all know, we are own worst critiques. It only means that you are going out of your comfort zone and that’s a big step. Keep working on your personal project consistently (a reminder I need to keep telling myself) and you’ll never know what might come out of those one day.