Welcome back, Wilde About Books community! We’re almost to the end of National Poetry Month! Has anyone been working on any big projects? I’m in my last week of graduate school, so my big project is almost over! Today I wanted to talk about putting your writing into the world, so I thought I’d start by sharing my experience and see where we go from there.
If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I’ve put little of myself, my writing, into the world. I’ve submitted to a few university competitions and a few small publications, but nothing more than that. I’ve wanted to publish the novel I’ve been working on and off for the past couple years, but I can never seem to quite finish it. I’ve always had the fear that most writers do that my writing is never ready. And, there’s always an excuse like: nobody will want to read it or it’s not good enough. Intellectually, I’m confident in my craft, but emotionally I second guess myself. Isn’t that crazy? I’m confident that I’m a good writer, so shouldn’t that be enough? I’ve been in several writing workshops where I’ve received praise, and I’ve received writing awards. And yet, fear has kept me from submitting my short stories and poetry to literary journals. Fear has denied me a chance to put my work out there and strive towards my literary goals. What I should have written was: I have let fear keep me from these things.
As I’m nearing the end of my education, I’m about to start my professional career. I’ve been thinking a lot about who I want to be and what I want to do with my life. And, I’m tired of living in fear. I want to write and share my work with the world. My writing has value. My story has value. I want to be brave. Now’s the time to be taking chances. With all that’s going on in the world right now, it’s more clear than ever that life is too short, too precious, to waste.
So I encourage you today to be brave. Be brave with me and put your work out in the world. If you’ve been wanting start writing, but haven’t yet, do it. If you think you won’t be good at, write anyway. If you’ve started a project, keep going. Share a poem, share a story, just share something. Take baby steps if you need to and share your work with a friend. Build up to submitting to publications starting with the small ones. Share your work with an agent. Whatever you do, be brave. Get out of your own way and put you writing into the world. We need it. We need you.
Let’s be brave together.