It’s tempting as you begin your writing journey to ask, “Do I have what it takes?” I certainly did. All about me I saw evidence that some seemed to have what it took and some didn’t, that there were those who were talented and those who were talentless. I saw books that never sold, I saw careers that never went anywhere, or careers that started to go somewhere and then abruptly stopped. I wanted to be one of those who was talented, and whose career started easily and just kept going and going and going.
Soon enough evidence began to arrive that I might not be one those who has what it took. Like most writers, this evidence arrived in the form of rejection letters – many, many, many of them. In fact, it wasn’t long before the evidence seemed fairly overwhelming. The problem with this supposed evidence is that it contradicted a voice I heard regularly when I quieted my mind. That voice always said, “Don’t worry. Keep going.” But what about the evidence? I demanded. “Don’t worry,” it responded. “Keep going.”
What a strange and helpful little voice. No one else could hear it, nor could they see its source, yet it was often all that sustained me when all I could perceive was a wasteland of rejection. The voice was the opposite of evidence. It was a feeling that couldn’t be argued with, only obeyed or ignored. When I ignored it, when I rejected it, I suffered worse than when I received any of those little letters. But when I obeyed it, all was well.
Once the letters changed, and once I began to see evidence of what we call success in my life, I understood that the source of my suffering had been that one awful question. To ask it is to open myself to a possibility that exists only in my fearful nightmares. I will always find evidence that I am not good enough if I look for it, some momentary failure signaling the limits of my life. Better never to ask the question, for it has only one answer, which is life’s only answer, which is: Yes.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual coaching and group workshops.
Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence.
You can find William at: williamkenower.com