Hello and thanks for your kind words about my work! :)
One of the best reminders you can give to yourself when you’re facing a big writing-related decision, such as whether or not to submit work to a contest or publication, or even when you’re just writing in general and feel down about your work, is to say to yourself “I am better than my comfort zone.”
Your comfort zone is just that: comfortable. In writing you have to take risks. You have to write bloody, write visceral, write everything that’s inside of yourself and everything that used to be inside but found its way out. You have to cross so many bridges and burn even more, and you absolutely cannot do that when you remain in your comfort zone.
If you work out of your comfort zone, you will not only grow stronger and more confident in your writing, but you will eventually hit the bulls-eye. It helps to remember that if you’re scared to submit something, then you’ll probably regret it after the deadline has passed, and to remind yourself that the feeling of regret sucks way more than the feeling of anxiety at submitting something. In fact, the feeling that comes after submitting something is often one of relief, and relief is a thousand times better to experience than regret.
The bulls-eye just means that if you keep trying, keep submitting and writing even when you feel despondent or down about your work, then eventually you’ll hit your target. You’ll get your piece accepted to the contest or the publication and you’ll eventually experience a moment of clarity and self-confidence about your writing.
Just remind yourself that. Keep aiming for the target and you’ll hit the bulls-eye.
You can be afraid of what other people think about your work, but just remember that in the end we’re all afraid of what other people think. Other writers already have to deal with their own fear; don’t add their fear to your own. Don’t double up. Just concentrate on what YOU think of your work, because in the end you’re your own worst critic and you are the one responsible for moving your work in the direction it needs to go. You are your own worst critic but you are your own best teacher too.
Teach yourself and learn from yourself, and draw inspiration from others, but don’t look to them as your only teacher. That’s your job.
I promise that one day you’ll write a poem or a prose piece that you love. So keep writing until you write that one particular piece.
Because it will make all the self-doubt and anxiety and regret worth it.
P.S. So sorry it took so long to respond to this!
Journalism, SUNY Purchase
"Music Under New York: The History and Cultural Impact of Subway Musicians"