Writers are not immune to giving away their inner power. Maybe we do this in different ways than the general population, but the end result is the same: we diminish ourselves and our writing.
NOTE: I’m not talking about “power over” but the power that each of us has within ourselves. Good stuff!
Here are some ways that might help you become aware of your own personal power as it relates to your writing journey.
Believe in yourself. If you’re feeling down about a critique or rejection letter – turn it around: What can you find in this experience to be grateful about? (This will help kill self-doubting quickly.) The best gift you can give yourself is to believe in YOU. You ARE a writer. Follow your inner voice, your intuition, or whatever you want to call it, because as you learn to trust this part of yourself, you build belief in who and what you are.
You know what you are doing. You’ve studied, you’ve taken classes and worked with writing critique groups, you’ve done your research. No matter what others might say, you know your goals and where you want to go (and why). You are the creator of your own journey. Follow your inner voice when you get advice and feedback from others. You will KNOW what feels right and what doesn’t. Feedback is a gift to you from others, so acknowledge it as such, even when, at times, you know it doesn’t work for your story.
Keep with your boundaries. While good advice for our entire life, it also applies to our writing. Follow your inner voice, your intuition, when you work with other writers (and people in general). You know what’s best for yourself within the feedback and advice that you receive with others when you listen with an open mind.
The only people you need to “make happy” is YOU. It’s a good thing to be nice and polite, but not at your own expense. Happiness is an internal “force” not something you can give to someone else.
Approval and validation should come from within. While it’s great to hear nice things about your writing, this is not something that you NEED to validate you as a writer. If you believe in yourself, and do the other things on this list, this is something that is internal rather than external. You ARE a writer and what you write is of value. On the flip side, you should not feel the need to validate other writers. Yes, say good things about their writing as appropriate (your gift to them), but they are responsible for their own validation.
Stay in your creative flow. You are the only one who defines what this is and how your own writing process works. Yes, you can try other things and explore other methods of doing something, but YOU know what works best for you. Learn to recognize what this feels like and encourage this flow to develop so that you can tap into it at will.
You are the master/mistress of your fate. You are in charge of your writing life, not anyone else. You make your goals, decision, and determine the path you wish to follow. This also has another side – others have their own paths to explore – respect this.
Learn to say “no” when it’s appropriate. With the numerous parts of our lives – the day job, family, friends, keeping up with our writing, exercising, it’s okay to say “no” to others so that we keep our lives in balance. Maybe you don’t have the time or energy to take on another critique group or to work with another writer at this time.
Looking back over this list (by no means complete!) it seems a good one for writing critique groups. Life (including our writing life) is all about what’s inside you.
May the power be with you!
Question for today: How do you use your inner power to help you in your writing journey? Is there an area where you give your power away? How might you turn this around?