It takes faith to sit down and write. And write again the next day. And the next. Without any idea of where your writing might be going, if anywhere at all. Despite obstacles.
You might write for just YOU, for the sheer pleasure of stretching your imagination or for the incredible healing potential that scribbling words proffer to those who dare let the ink spill their guts on to paper.
You may want to be published one day. That's when we may get side-tracked by the shoulds, if's, buts, the rightness and wrongness of our words, our skill level, submission costs and whether we're original or not.
I know that feeling of being de-railed by a well-known writer's cruel comments about my work last Autumn. I desperately wanted their approval on a bit of my novel at a writing workshop, telling me I could write. Just like I wanted that careers officer to tell me I could be a writer when I was 16 years old. Neither gave me the affirmation I longed for. That dogged self-belief had to come from within.
But I've also had some incredible mentors along the way. People and books and courses. Who tell me to continue with my REVOLUTIONARY ACTS OF WRITE-NESS. Because that's what I believe writing is for many of us. A leap in to the unknown. An internal revolution. We write because it brings us alive.
All those hours with the pen, with the keyboard - they do amount to something BIG. It's not something that can be validated by publishing, money or praise. It is something deeply internal, perspective-shifting, fulfilling. That feeling of write-ness. It just feels RIGHT.
I'm a big lass now with biglady boobs and I am determined to NOT let the naysayers derail me anymore. Constructive criticism - yes please.
Cruel comments - thank you kindly and stuff-off please. Here's what I say to them, "I wrote it Anyway". Now that's revolutionary!
I WROTE IT ANYWAY
Caroline Donahue, aka The Book Doctor and creator of The Secret Library Podcast and I are on a mission to:
Support writers in overcoming the obstacles that keep them from telling their stories. Whether these obstacles were imposed externally, or came up inside you as the critic, we want to band together to break through as writers and to inspire others.
We are creating and self-publishing an anthology, "I Wrote It Anyway" to showcase tales of anyone who felt the fear and wrote it anyway. Told by a teacher you’d never write? Tell us your story. Crippled by doubt and perfectionism despite support from those around you? We want that story too. Circumstances conspiring to prevent you ever having the time to write? Hell yes we want that story told.
YOUR stories and YOU can give the faith and courage to other writers to keep going, whether they're writing just for themselves or working towards publication. We need new and diverse mentors and we'd love to hear from YOU. We welcome published and unpublished writers to contribute. Read below for submission details and how your writing will make a real difference to others...
Here’s how to submit to 'I Wrote it Anyway':
- We are accepting submissions of up to 2,500 words in a word document. Write YOUR story YOUR way - you can include poetry, excerpts from stories/novels/journal entries.
- You can listen to us chat about the anthology's mission on the Secret Library Podcast Episode #88.
- Submissions must be sent in by March 15, 2018 at midnight Pacific Time
- Email your submission as a word attachment to: email@example.com
- Please share this post on Social Media with the hashtag #iwroteitanyway
- We will announce the essays we select for the final collection on April 30, 2018
- ALL profits from the anthology will be split equally to benefit 826 LA (USA) and Arts Emergency (UK). That means YOUR words will directly make a difference to other marginalised writers and creators.
(Just to say that both Caroline and I are giving our time freely to this mission as it something we are passionate about.)