Last night was the conclusive end to the release party for my fourth novel, Ice Burns. It was an amazing event filled with outstanding guest authors who filled the conversation with dazzling analogies and insight from their unique perspectives.
One thing that struck me during the chaotic interactions between authors and readers was the queries that came from readers who wanted to be like us. They wanted to be writers/authors as well but didn't know how to begin. It isn't an uncommon feeling for any writer, but it is still a bit startling when it is mirrored back at you to such a high degree.
The questions and vulnerability of someone afraid to broach their chosen art made me feel like a new writer again. Their questions were the same ones I had. Their needs for some sort of validation that writing can be done was almost painful. I knew, and know still, that feeling of uncertainty that maybe you're dreaming too big or reaching for the furthest star in the galaxy just because you think it's pretty. It clenches at you and makes you fearful.
Artists of any kind are incredibly self-sabotaging. We fear baring our souls and being rejected for it because that's what we do when we create. Anything that forces you to open yourself and show fears, desires, needs... It isn't an easy thing as anyone who has ever been rejected or insulted knows. It is bleeding yourself into something new; your metaphorical heart has to pump the thoughts and images out for others to experience. That's where the decision lies.
Creative expression, though it is a skill that must be honed with the sharpest blade of wit, is a decision to work. Writing is work and it must be treated with that level of respect. Success in any degree is work no matter how fearful you are of failure. You must choose to be what you want and make it happen. There is no half-attempt. Someone who chooses to create must thrust both hands, heart, mind, and humility into that creation. Pride does not have a place in the process except in the conclusion of hard work completed.
If you would write, then do it now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. If you want to be something, waiting even one more day is a waste of time and you cannot let something so valuable slip away. Put away the excuses because no one is listening and begin.