“I do not choose the words, they choose me.”
That’s what I said to myself the other day.
I often find myself thinking about why I started writing in the first place and how my writing journey sprouted.
I do remember that I was a kid who was very into writing. Whether it is a story or a dream, I needed to write it down. I needed to note every single detail down so that those words could help me go back in time if I ever read them again.
Everything was going just fine, until one day I grew up, and decided that I wanted to make a living writing. I found myself at the beginning of a road that I never knew; but which I would proceed on with great passion.
As time passed, I was introduced to many unfamiliar concerns and fears.
Among those emotions, one in particular took control of me for a very long period of time. The fear of being a bad writer. Luckily, when that fear knocked on the door, I’d already sensed that loving was not going to be enough. At the time, I did not even need anyone telling me how bad my writing was; for I was my own biggest critic.
Having a passion or talent for something was one thing. What mattered was what I was going to do with that passion and talent.
Was it a curse or a gift?
Well, when you do not feed a hungry stomach, you lose your strength; and your appetite gradually decreases because your stomach shrinks.
It is the same with writing. If you ever neglect it, your words will fade away. You may lose your interest in writing. You may want to write but feel as if it is now too late to do something about it.
So, knowing that writing required not only creativity but also long term dedication and patience, I immediately faced my fear of being a bad writer.
From the very beginning, I was well aware of one thing. Neither being willing nor having talent alone would be enough for me to become a writer.
At that point, two things mattered; taking one step at a time, and redefining my perception of success.
There was no single way to reach the goal. So, it dawned on me that patience was the key for me to move on. Along the road, I discovered a lot of things. Even if people had the same goals, it did not mean that they were to use the same path; they could not, because it’s a unique and personal journey for everyone.
To make this personal experience meaningful and manageable, I needed support. Thankfully, there were so many helpful resources available to me. I inevitably had difficulty choosing, being the indecisive person that I am.
As a writer, early in my career, I was amazed being able to find so many digital platforms that I could benefit from. After a little bit of research, I found some online courses that were free to enrol in. Thanks to these courses, people can learn a lot by gaining insight into the writing industry, as well as learning new strategies to craft stories.
If there’s one thing we do not comprehend fully, it is the importance and necessity of challenging ourselves regularly. I encourage you to ahead and find the right free or paid courses for yourself. Because I promise you, they are out there waiting for you.
As soon as I started educating myself and strengthening my writing skills, I eventually began to set a plan for myself.
No matter what, I was going to write every single day and night. Some days I was incredibly productive. But there were also other days I could not write a single word. Waiting for the right words to come out; the challenge of all time for a writer. But then I listened to my heart.
If words don’t come, then perhaps I should make my own plan to help them reach me.
As I was studying online and trying to find discipline as a writer, I was also applying for writing jobs. After the first week, I took my first job as a writer. I was going to be paid 10 dollars. Of course, it was not much money, but it was a good start.
From time to time I complained to myself, “Why can’t I make more money?”
Once you let this toxic thought dominate you, everything else begins to seem pale and numb. If I was going to exist in this highly competitive industry, I had to let go of that toxic thought.
So, I kept writing. The more I wrote, the more challenges I had to face along the journey. None of those challenges I faced, learned, and overcame were obstacles. Instead, they were my teachers. I learned a lot from each of them. Not only my technique has changed, but also my perspective. And it wasn’t just my writing that developed, it was also me; my very existence.
So, I believe money should never be one’s primary goal. Because as in any other profession, enthusiasm and passion can become dull when material focuses take precedence. It’s important, yes. But it’s not everything.
In time, I got to observe that my definition of success had enormously changed, too. So please, ask yourself this:
How do you define success?
It does not matter what you do, or want to do; what matters is what success looks and feels like to you?
Because your answer to this question will tell you everything you need to know.
Although it is defined in one sentence, success is a multi-layered word to me.
In my opinion, it is highly proportional to my self-awareness. Knowing what I like, what makes me happy, embracing my weaknesses as well as my strengths. Then comes the hard work, dedication, and generating.
Many of us fall into the trap of perceiving success as a tangible outcome. There is no doubt that money is a necessity. However, it should not be our starting point. In the beginning, choosing the career path that I could invest both my time and talent in was a successful moment for me. Earning that first 10 dollars was another one. Money is not the measure of success, it’s a locomotive.
Along the way, I was tested countless times and I am certain many more unexpected challenges will come and go. And I am okay with that. Because those are the times I see a new me; a better me.
So yes, there will always be moments where you’ll be tested and challenged. Nonetheless, thanks to such moments you’ll question more, you’ll do more, and you’ll grow.
As soon as you take the first step, the next will follow. Only then will you see how far you’ve come.