The 4 Realities I've Accepted As A Writer.

You know what I like about learning a certain skill or craft? It’s that it teaches me about everything else in life. Because the way you do something is the way you do everything. Right. Ryan Holiday said that in his book, "The Obstacle Is The Way".

Writing is no different. I’ve learned so much more about myself thanks to the craft. For one, it’s taught me how much of a procrastinating bum I am. Yeah, I procrastinate. Nice to meet you too.

Besides that, it’s also highlighted how much I can dream, yet not pursue said dream out of fear, laziness, or who knows what else. In a way, writing has helped me address some problems, and come to terms with others.

And here’s me coming to terms with certain, not-so-fun facts about writing, thanks to writing.

1. I may never achieve greatness

From the movie “Inception.”

So I've lived for more than ten years with my brother, right? And he loved to sing. I’d listened to him belt a verse every time he bathed or cooked.

Throughout the decade, I witnessed his growing passion for music. But here’s the thing. He still isn’t good today.

Yeah, over ten years of singing, and his voice still sounds like a toad croaking. No offense brother, but Mama told us to always say the truth, and while it might hurt, your singing sucks.

Why do I bring this up? Because it depicts my writing life.

Like my brother, I’ve spent a few years on writing, and since it’s such a subjective pursuit, I have no idea if I’m getting any better. All I have is my faith that I am.

I’ve grown to accept that there may be a limit to how much I can improve. You know how you’ll never catch up to a gymnast, figure skater, or musician who’d learned their discipline as a child? That’s how I feel. There are levels to this, and I probably won’t reach the upper echelons of the craft in this lifetime.

But that’s okay. That only gives me the freedom to write what I want, although it's not an opportunity to write crap. Believe me, I'm not mediocre.

2. I can’t make others like me

Unrelated, but I love this book/movie. It wrecked meeeee.

I never put out a post with bad intent. The goal has always been to entertain or inspire. But a black cat to me is going to mean something different to you. And what I see as motivating may be interpreted as offensive to others.

I can only travel down one path in writing. I can only convey one message a pop. I can’t think of the zillion other issues that surround a certain topic, and people who stand on the opposite end of my views will inevitably feel alienated.

And there’s nothing I can do about that.

There’s a saying I found in a book: “Even the best stylists have their haters, and the worst have their fans.”

The sooner I accept that I can’t please everyone, the sooner I can get to please those who do resonate with my work.

3. I have to pursue my own approval

And that’s on point, baby.

At least in my part of the world, writing will always be seen as a pastime more than a worthy career. It’s not stable nor lucrative enough to be seen as a respectable career. (Well, if you hold this opinion, you should seek help).

Nobody cares if I write 1,000 words every day. That’s the equivalent of painting something new every day, which would only impress other fellow artists but would do nothing for the typical layman.

Which is why the only person’s approval I should earn is my own. I care that I’ve written 1,000 words, and I know how hard it is to maintain that pace every day without rest.

I believe that we all have this inner judge within us, one that looks at our day’s efforts and determines if we’ve done enough to merit their blessing. And this judge’s decisions manifest themselves as the anxiety that we haven’t done enough, or the smile we have from a day well lived.

I’ve accepted that the only person I need to impress is this judge, and no one else. Which makes everything that much harder, because the judge is harder to persuade than the average bystander.

But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

4. I’m going to hate 90% of my work

Same, Jo. Same. Feels like malarkey sometimes.

I know you know how this feels too. I’m never truly happy with everything I ever put out. There’s always something I can improve on. Phrase a sentence better. Make the message pop. Write tight. Not be such a dullard.

But facing that doubt is part and parcel of the writing life.

The fact of the matter is that this is me. Whatever I put on paper is the culmination of my practice throughout the ages. I’ll hate my work even more if I start comparing it to others.

This is why I’ve accepted that something will always feel off whenever I hit the Publish button on WordPress or Medium, when I send in an article to my boss, or when I send a document to my editor-friend, Daniela.

That’s okay though because, to me, the writing life isn’t about persuading others to like me. It’s about finding my tribe and writing for them. And for this group of people, there’s very little I can do wrong, even though I feel all fifty shades of it when sharing my work with them.

Weirdly enough, the more I accept that I’m not special, the better I work. Because thinking that I have my magnum opus inside me just relegates me to the whims of the muse.

But realizing that the only edge I’ll ever have is hard work means that I may or may not end up with that one novel I’ll truly be proud of.

And either way, I’ve come to terms with that.

What realities have you accepted in your writing journey? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you haven’t subscribed already, you’re missing out on a ton of exclusive content similar to this!

You don't want to miss out anymore, right?

So, hit the subscribe button, querida.

Stay hydrated, lush, and lovely.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Agnes Ajadi

A quotidian reader. || One day, maybe someday, I'll stop hibernating.