There was a very hesitant young woman who came to our writer’s group and didn’t read. She listened and commented and after several times we politely asked her to share something. Finally one Monday night she did.
She began with somewhat of a disclaimer that sounded like this:
“I know this isn’t very good, it’s not done, it’s really only a draft and I didn’t have time to fix parts of it and I’m still working on the story…but anyway, here it is.”
And guess what? It was good. Everybody asked questions about the story, we all wanted to know about the characters and the plot; it felt like any one of the other writers sharing a story without the hesitation.
What was it that stopped this writer from putting out her story in the first place? Why did she feel her writing was so sub-par and unacceptable?
She believed her writing, no matter how many times she rewrote it, would never measure up to other writer’s work. That myth stopped her, held her back from believing anything she wrote was worthy.
What changed her myth, transformed the way she viewed her writing, was the chance to open her words to an audience of peers who without judgement, offered feedback. She felt she had become a part of a group and her writing would not be the object of criticism. She learned by watching and listening that everyone was there to encourage not tear down other people’s work.
It took a long time to deconstruct her myth.
A myth is a belief and beliefs exist as the result of a wound and criticism can cause that wound. This doesn’t mean a writer should only be told that whatever they write is fantastic and there is nothing they can do to improve it.
Feedback is essential to improve writing. Criticism essentially kills writing.
Anybody who believes “Nobody would want to read anything I’ve written. It’s not good enough” may continue to write but won’t feel the joy of sharing their words. Whether it’s in a small circle of like-minded people or the larger world of published writers, why limit the power of the written word?
Moving beyond beliefs that hold back the writer is the goal of a good writer’s group. We encourage writers to seek them out and if one is not available in your area, be brave and start one.
“I wish I found some better sounds no one’s ever heard
I wish I had a better voice that sang some better words”
Twenty One Pilots’ – Stressed Out.
Waiting for better words will keep any writer on the outside looking in, tied to the myth that their words are not good enough.
And if you never feel like your words are good enough to share, the world will never know what’s on your mind.
Penpaperwrite Writers Group of Atlanta is a good place to start if you are in our area. It’s a standard Meetup but there are lots of others. Look around for ones that suit you. We have poets, novelists, screenwriters and writers with ideas that are just beginning to percolate.
The point is to find a place to let it out – let your writing prosper and grow. Don’t fall for any myths. This isn’t an ad for our writer’s group. It’s an ad for writers and writers finding their path; the one that leads to the world hearing what they have to say.
Christina for Penpaperwrite
If you want to take your idea and turn it into a first draft with a simple writing method that focuses on scenes and storyboarding learn more about the 60 Scenes® Writing Method 1-Day Workshop at the Indigo Hotel Vinings, Atlanta, GA.
Spend the day absorbed in the Three-Act Structure, the Outer Journey of Plot and the Inner Journey of the Hero, the power of the Scene and much more. You will leave with skills to write your novel or screenplay in a new and expanded way that will take you out of any rut and free you of obstacles that may have stopped you in the past.
Register for the next workshop January 25th – limit 15 attendees: www.60scenes.com