This post originally started as part of the A-Z Challenge, but unfortunately, I had to pull out of that for health reasons. Sounds funny, I know, but each post still had about a quarter of work left, and this pneumonia has me wiped out. I simply don’t have the energy for it. I’ll keep my theme and posts…it will be cutting it close, but I figure a year will give me enough time to finish.
Since April’s IWSG Day fell on the letter C, I had written up this little piece for my offering.
As human beings, we like to be comfortable. We seek it. We like to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We crave foods that make us feel better and call them comfort foods. We prefer shoes that don’t pinch, beds that are just right, and money to pay the bills. As comfortable as our individual situations allow is what we strive for each day.
But what happens when you’re not even comfortable in your own skin?
It took me years and a great deal of self-examination to like myself, to be totally okay with Mike, warts and all. I wanted so much for people…everybody…to like me, and took great efforts to make that happen. It’s impossible. It always felt like I was “on,” always in the spotlight giving a performance rather than simply being me. I’d censor what I would say, how I would act, what I would do, careful not to offend anybody.
It drove me crazy and I felt like a phony.
Why would I try to be someone other than myself? Fear. Acceptance. Insecurity.
This plagues us as writers, too. We’ve become so determined to not offend, for our work to be liked, that we end up writing nothing worthwhile, just a rehash of what he wrote and she wrote and they wrote because it’s safe and already accepted. It stunts our growth and limits our creativity.
But once you’ve become comfortable in your own skin, you’re truly free to write whatever you want, even if it’s an insufferable piece of crap, and be okay with it. Criticisms will still bother you, but not as much. Confidence blooms.
Not everybody is going to like you or your work, but as long as you’re satisfied, that’s all that matters.
Today may you find comfort in being you.
This post was written as a part of Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of every month and share our solutions to common difficulties, encourage other writers to meet their insecurities head-on, and seek supportive shoulders to tear-stain when we’ve received just one too many rejections. If you’d like to join the group (and we’d love to have you), follow the link to Alex’s site, grab a badge, and put your name on the list. I’ll see you next month!
The Letter “C” courtesy of From Old Books