Have you ever wanted to communicate a concept but felt powerless to do so? Have you ever tried writing down your thoughts only to have your passionate ideas turn into passive commentary? Often the only difference between a mediocre essay and a meaningful article is your ability to trust yourself and stand apart from the crowd.
Recently I made the switch from writing as a hobby to writing professionally. For a couple of years I was known as the residential author among my friends, and all signs pointed towards making a career out of the written word: there was just one catch.
I was scared beyond belief.
I’m not just talking a little nerves, I mean full out panic. A “scrawny guy stuck by himself at night in the woods in one of those classic horror movies” level of panic. I mean sure, I knew I could turn a phrase, but J.R.R. Tolkien I am not.
Everywhere I went I was reminded of who I wasn’t. With every passing billboard slogan or page turned in my favorite book (they have this vintage kind of book made out of paper so you don’t even have to charge a tablet: crazy, I know) I grew more insecure.
My writing began to suffer. I was so afraid to make a mistake that my words went from colorful to bland, my ideas from exciting to typical. I couldn’t make myself write like those legendary authors, and I knew it.
I was on the verge of giving up, but then I realized something so simple and yet so hard for most of us to understand.
I’m not supposed to write like another author.
We are in the midst of a modern day renaissance: an exchange and growth of ideas and information never before seen. The author has been supplemented with the blogger, the lecture with public debate.
In a world constantly seeking truth and innovation, your thoughts need to be heard.
So no, maybe I won’t end up being the next Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe I never will create a world that gets made into a cinematic event, but that’s not what makes great writing.
Great writing comes when you express an idea that is burning inside of you, the kind of idea that you need to go tell your Aunt Sue about.
So run to your nearest journal or computer. Jot down that idea that you aren’t sure how to express in conversation, that belief that you never know when to bring up. Don’t try to be a “great writer.” Just start writing. And then watch your idea transform into words, words that when shared have the power to influence those around you.
The world doesn’t need great writers, it needs great ideas that are written down and spread.
So what’s stopping you?
Britain, Content Specialist