While you are writing, there's a little force that can make an appearance and create havoc with your creative process. Do any of these statements sound familiar?
Ooooh, I don’t know…this story is too dark; people will think I’m a serial killer, so I’d better tone it down. Or, maybe I should just delete it and start again.
This novel might be a bit too steamy…what will my friends think? I better rework it and come up with something a little tamer.
It's your filter. As soon as you hear it, you are faced with a choice:
A.) you turn it off and continue with your work or,
B.) you listen to it and alter your work.
Well, I’m here to tell you…DON’T LISTEN because that darn filter is destructive. To help you ignore it, and choose Option A, here's a pep talk for anyone who is suffering from self-doubt which is a by-product of your filter.
The Pep Talk
The filter always worries about what other people will think. And who's kidding who, as creators we want people to not only like our work—we want them to LOVE it.
But the reality is (if you can believe it?! 😊) not everyone is going to like what we do. Art, in any form is subjective and it is because of this, as an artist, we need to create for ourselves and the only way we can do this…is to turn off the filter and GO FOR IT!
I’ll say it again. I’ll shout it from the mountain top DON’T WORRY about what people think. People are going to judge your work. People are going to have very definite opinions about your work…and yes, some (but not all) of these opinions will leave you reeling because it feels like someone ripped your heart out and stomped on it five times. It hurts. It sucks. But this is the reality of releasing your work out into the world. But don’t EVER let this stop you from doing so. Be tough. Be brave. You can do it. Trust in yourself. Trust in your work.
And, whatever you do…don’t ever change the content of your work because you doubt yourself. If Stephen King turned on the filter, we might not have The Shining, Carrie or Pet Cemetery. Or, what if EL James turned on the filter…would 50 Shades of Grey be the runaway success it was?
Embrace Your Inner Voice
Whereas last week’s advice to writers was to turn off the filter and write your character true to their voice. This week, I wanted to build upon that sentiment because our internal sensor is a biggie. I will reiterate… DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let your filter get in the way of your voice. Embrace your inner Stephen King or your EL James and be confident with who you are and what you write.
Have you ever changed your work because you worried about what people will think?