I Believe You're Right

Walking into a bookstore can be disorienting sometimes if you’re an author. There are just so many different types of stories, and every one of those stories required such commitment from its writer. You simply can’t begin writing and then finish and then publish a book unless you believe in that book’s value. You have to believe in its value even when it’s nothing but a seed of an idea in the fertile soil of your imagination. But you’re not just an author – you’re also a person who lives his life doing things other than writing. You meet a lot of people as you go about your day, and those people all have their own ideas, and frankly some of those ideas seem kind of loony to you. You’re sure they’re loony because they’re the exact opposite of what you believe, and it seems so obvious that if such an idea is followed it will lead only to disappointment and confusion. So you decide to be helpful and correct this person’s error so they don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. This never goes well. Sometimes this other person even accuses you of being loony, and you walk away thinking, “My God. People will believe anything at all.”

That’s what makes bookstores a little disorienting. As an author, you must value belief even above the stories themselves. Belief is your compass across the blank page, through the jungle of publication and marketing, and past the tempting mirage of comparison and acclaim. What you believe in often makes no sense to anyone else. They can’t see it like you do. That’s why you must write it. If you don’t write it, no one else will ever know it too.

And so you look around the bookstore at all the stories you would never have told. Some of those stories are the exact opposite of your story. As bright and agile as your imagination might be, you have trouble understanding why a person would want to tell some of those stories. They seem like loony ideas. Yet there they are, fully formed and loved by someone. You must then decide what’s more important: belief or being right. You know the answer before you ask the question, but even that answer seems loony to you. We can’t all be right, can we?

You better believe it.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group coaching.


Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence. You can find William at: williamkenower.com

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