How to become fearless with your writing

….or anything else you love.

A desk with a coffee, flowers, pen and paper. The paper says, "Just do it."

Creating something new to share with the world can be hard. You’ll face criticism, sometimes it will be constructive, other times it won’t be. You might fail. You might succeed. It’s all a guessing game. But let’s not forget the positives and how to stay focused.

Don’t aim to please

This is a big one. As a writer, there’s always someone telling me to change something because they didn’t like it. I’m not talking about workshopping and passing on helpful feedback – that’s a God send. I’m talking about the people who want to change you and your craft to match their needs, not yours and potentially everyone else’s.

But have you ever thought, maybe they’re just not your target audience?

I have a friend who is a painter. She paints beautiful moody pictures with dark colours and wistful strokes. But when she showed her friend, she was quickly met with, “Why don’t you paint happier pictures? These are too dark.”

That, my friends, is an opinion. That is not constructive, and it’s potentially hindering the artist’s individual style. One that might actually make them stand out and become successful in the future.

Why don’t I write happier stories? Because that’s not what it’s about.

David Bowie once said, “All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience.” I couldn’t agree more. Anytime someone shared only their opinion, without constructive criticism, it would have potentially killed my writing if bent to their words.

If you tried to alter your original idea to meet someone else’s expectations, it could soon become inauthentic and weak. Staying true to your gut will automatically make it more genuine, and in the long run, more successful.

Your intention will reach other people who relate, but that’s only possible if you believe in your own craft.

Just because someone doesn’t click with your style or idea, doesn’t mean it should change. I’ve met so many people who decided to not pursue their passion for fear of being disliked, but the only person they hurt was themselves.

Think about it this way: trends happen because something new and exciting has come about. That new show you love? It had an original story line. That book you can’t put down? It was a refreshing take on a classic.

Why do you think the new thing you want to introduce to the world will fail? Why do we think if something isn’t popular right now, then people will hate it?

That trend used to be something new and unpopular. It became a trend because people loved it. Just like they could love you and your idea.

Just do it

I’m sure many of you have seen the video of Shia LeBouf screaming, “Just do it!” If you haven’t, here’s a link.

This is how loved ones feel when you second-guess yourself. Frustrated. You want to know why they’re frustrated? Because they believe in you.

The only way you’re going to make this happen for yourself is if you just do it.

Scared that what you write is going to be crap? Just get it on paper and then edit it. Workshop it. Get support from loved ones and other writer friends. People who want you to succeed will help you.

If you go to a constructive workshop for your writing, it doesn’t matter if your story isn’t their style, they will help you shape it to something even stronger, without tainting your intentions.

Scared that your idea isn’t good enough? If you start working on it, it will grow. A first draft is never perfect, but that’s part of the process. That is a stepping stone to something better.

Remember, you’ll start with an idea and then after a few drafts, it will bloom. It will become complex and moving and beautiful. So, why stop before you even reach that step?

Just do it!

Educate yourself

If you’re a writer, write and read as much as possible. If you’re a painter, paint as much as possible. If you’re an IT expert, keep researching and working on your skill.

You can be great at what you do, but there is always something new to learn. And how wonderful is that? No matter how skilled you are, you will always have something to look forward to. You can consistently grow.

Join a class, get a degree, meet up with like-minded people. Practice, practice, practice. Watch YouTube videos, read articles. Buy a masterclass on www.masterclass.com (review coming soon – it’s amazing).

Never stop learning and you’ll always have somewhere to go.

Click here to learn some important life lessons to lead a happy life.

Stop thinking you’re the only one

You’re not the only one trying to chase their dreams. You’re not the only one being rejected or accepted. You’re not the only one who feels like everyone they pitch their idea to is annoyed by them. You’re not the only one struggling, failing, getting back up and trying again.

You’re not the only one. So share the experience, keep going, stay humble, be tenacious, fight for what you want and don’t be afraid to keep trying.

At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

The five biggest lessons I’ve learned …so far

With every lesson, comes a lot of learning. Here are the ones I live by.

Trust your intuition

“We think we’re mundane beings with no powers, but in reality, our superpower is our intuition.”

This is the rule to live by – it encompasses all other rules. Does something feel right? Trust it. Does something feel wrong? Trust it. We think we’re mundane beings with no powers, but in reality, our superpower is our intuition… our natural instinct. There have been times my intuition has saved my life, and other times where it opened up wonderful opportunities. I wrote and published my first short story Rust based on a real experience I had. It’s the biggest lesson I’ve ever learned, and I honestly believe nothing will ever beat it.

Let go of toxic people

Feeling anxious, unhappy, maybe even sick? Look at the company you keep. You’ll probably make excuses at first.

“But if I let them go, I’ll have no friends?” However, if you let them go, you might actually be happier and attract healthier people, you know, the ones who are actually good friends.

“But he has been good to me in the past, like.. remember that one time?” Whether it be a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or family member, emotional abuse is a real and very valid thing and I’ve had strong firsthand experiences with it. Do I remember the occasional good time with that person? Sure. Does it override the bad? Absolutely not. And to be honest, I’m so much happier without them – and that’s not a bad thing to admit.

Never live up to other’s expectations over your own

“If you stay true to yourself, you won’t regret your choice when you’re on your deathbed.”

People will clobber you with their own opinions, limitations and expectations. But your right as a living, breathing human is to own your choices and your path. If you have a vision for your life, one that will make your soul sing, then go for it. If someone else thinks it’s boring, small, lame or out of reach – don’t listen. Lead a life you value. The right people will support you. And maybe the people you love the most won’t understand and that’s okay. If you stay true to yourself, you won’t regret your choices when you’re on your deathbed.

Believe in the impossible, because it’s possible

This is kind of linked to the previous point, but it’s an important lesson to learn.

I want to be a screenwriter. The first thought in your head was probably, “But Sal, nobody makes it.” You’re actually wrong, tons of people make it. You know that show you’re binging on Netflix? Whoever wrote it was told the exact same thing. But guess what? They didn’t believe you. They believed in themselves. And now they have a show on Netflix.

There are people who love you …and people who won’t

“Stop tearing yourself down just because someone else doesn’t click with your uniqueness.”

….and that’s okay! You will never make everyone happy. You will never click with every single person. It may be uncomfortable, but that’s the beauty in life. You think you’re an outcast? You’re not! There’s someone out there who will totally dig you. Feel like you can’t make someone happy? Stop trying! You’ll be enough for someone else. Your crush isn’t into you? Next! There will be someone who shares your feelings.

Stop tearing yourself down just because someone else doesn’t click with your uniqueness. Think about everyone you’ve ever disliked – are they bad people or just not your cup of tea? Striving for someone’s affection and approval when they just won’t give it is toxic and exhausting. If you accept it, you’ll be a happier person, and you’ll have more time to appreciate the ones who adore you.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned? Comment below.

Sincerely,

Sally