One of the scariest things about writing is just not knowing if what you have to say is worth saying.
Like how do you know if people even want to read your stuff? What if it’s read and you end up just hearing crickets chirping because you failed to realize how unimportant and mundane your “great masterpiece” was?
I’ll be honest. A part of me is terrified every time I sit down and pull up my WordPress to sift through my thoughts. I mean, I’ll just be real here. I hardly ever plan what I’m going to write. I just write and hope for the best. And somewhere along the way, I realize what it is I’m really trying to say and then attempt to shorten all the random tangents I somehow went off on.
I know people tell me, “Jessie, you’re such a great writer”, “Jessie, I love your blog”, “Jessie, what you wrote like really encouraged me.”
(Thank you so much, by the way, for encouraging me the way you do)
But despite the affirmation and the assurances that what I am writing is good and worth reading, I have doubts. And I think those doubts come from a place of insecurity brought on by the evil cousin of jealousy: comparison.
For me, writing is both a catalyst for and product of reading. I love to read, particularly memoirs and blogs and personal stories of strong, confident women. When I read, I want to be inspired.
I’m a bit of a blog creeper, meaning I have a few people’s blogs that I check DAILY. Yes, I said daily. Even blogs that I know are only updated once every week or so. What can I say? I’m hungry for inspiration!
But when I read some of these great works, I find myself feeling less and less confident about my own because I end up comparing myself to these writers. I see how strong and beautiful these women are and how that strength and beauty came from a place of tragedy and brokenness.
And I’ve never had a tragedy. I’ve never had a deep brokenness. At least, not like these women.
I have struggles, yes. I do face tough things in life. I go through trials and grieve. I have felt a broken heart.
But when I look back on my life, it’s hard for me to justify my feelings and my thoughts and my creations. I don’t see how I could possibly have credibility when I haven’t faced half the things other people have.
I’m a white, female, middle-class, nineteen-year-old college student living in Georgia, for crying out loud.
But here’s something I’m realizing: we all have our own stories.
And if I can so easily discount mine, then what’s stopping me from discounting everyone else’s?
How dare I believe that only those who have faced tragedy can have a voice or something to offer? That’s like putting darkness up on a pedestal.
Darkness can inspire, but it’s not the only thing.
You know what inspires me? I’m inspired when things I’ve read in God’s Word a billion times are all of a sudden super relevant to my life. I’m inspired when I listen to pastors and speakers who explain something I’ve never understood before. I’m inspired when I find the perfect metaphor for something I’ve felt or experienced but couldn’t explain. I’m inspired when my best friend encourages me. I’m inspired when my boyfriend shows me an act of love. I’m inspired when I get to know my family better. I’m inspired when I’m serving others. I’m inspired when I’m watching silly romantic comedies. I’m inspired when I worship.
And it’s what I do with that inspiration that really matters, not necessarily what inspired me in the first place.
So I’m going to keep writing and I’m going to keep creating. I’m going to keep telling myself that what I have is worth saying.
And I dare you to keep creating, too. Maybe you’re not a writer, but you love to sing. Or maybe you like to draw or come up with cool projects to work on. Maybe you love planning gifts and parties for friends. Maybe you like to share your thoughts with friends.
Let your inspiration direct you to greater things, and kick that comparison out the door! YOU have a voice and it ought to be heard.
That is all, my friends.