Writing is a passion I discovered after I went to college for Psychology, after I’d been working in a steady job in the social work field for a couple of years, and after I’d thought I already understood the course of my career path. It is not something I was born knowing I was destined to do. It was not what I studied in school. In fact, it was something I believed I was pretty bad at. These facts intimidated me when I jumped into the unknown. On better days I say, "To hell with facts!" On bad days, thoughts crop up and tell me I’m in over my head.
I’ve been writing for two years now. For 1½ years I was still working my full time job in the social work field, and the last half year I’ve been traveling like crazy. Growth is inevitable when you consistently practice your craft. I’ve been able to look back on when meek Rachel began this journey and seen how much that growth is evident for me. I’m a firm believer that stagnation = death, and just because I’ve made leaps and bounds these past couple of years, I expect to make a whole hell of a lot more in the years to come.
How did I grow? I practiced all the time. I wrote on my blog. I wrote things I never showed others. I wrote with alcohol, coffee, tea. I wrote early in the mornings, afternoons, evenings, in the middle of the night. I tested when I was best at my writing, (mornings seem to test the best). I wrote a nonfiction short and had people read and critique it. I met people in-person to go over their critiques and I edited and edited. I typed my short out on a typewriter, one click at a time and installed the piece in an old mailbox where the story I wrote took place. I made a writing group. I participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote my first novel. I’ve been editing the shit out of that novel. I got an incredible editor for my novel. I sent out work to get published. I got rejected. I talked with people about my writing - anyone who would listen. I met authors. I reached out. I put myself out there. I wrote more. I asked for more feedback from others. I pushed past the fear of feeling like my work sucks and still asked people to read my work. I asked questions. I reached out to others. I started a second novel.
With each new step, confidence is sure to get closer on your heels. Even if one conversation was awkward as hell or a piece of writing was total rubbish, I’m growing as I make a point to plow ahead. Do I still have a long road ahead? Hell yes I do, but it feels so good to take the time to look back and see that my hard work has paid off in becoming a better and more confident writer.
Wherever you are at in your journey of developing the skills and confidence in your passion, I hope you can feel encouraged to continue to put your heart and soul into it, knowing it’ll pay off, perhaps slowly but it will definitely happen.