As I've started putting my writing out there I have noticed how critical I can be. And how uncomfortable it is asking for followers, tracking likes and views, it's daunting. As a person who often seeks outside validation, I am conscientious that I don't write for that validation. I write because I want to connect. Because I personally have been affected by writing from those famous and unknown. Those who dared to show themselves, exposed and vulnerable with words. I often vacillate between being proud and embarrassed by my writing. Often the writing I'm most nervous about sharing is the happier writing which often feels trite. Also the writing that is baring the judgments I've already been given, which feels like just asking for people to agree with those assessments.
So, I'm constantly tempted to go back to change how I wrote something, find flaws, decide something doesn't add up, and want it to be better always. I can be intimidated by other's writers' talents and a comparison finds I am found wanting.
One of my all-time favorite writers is Maya Angelou. I came across an interview where she spoke about this exact feeling. She spoke of not being the best writer, there was always someone better. And her refusal to "edit the life out" of her writing. She said her writing was uniquely hers.
Brene Brown also talks about the voice inside a writer's head. That it often assumes the critic's voice and not the courageous voices of writers she admires, like Maya Angelou.
Changing my critical voice into one that says "Don't edit the life out of it." and "Make it uniquely yours." Is difficult but that's what I'm working on doing.
I don't want to edit the life out of my writing and writing what is uniquely me seems much easier and removes comparison.
So, as I write I hope to imagine her voice and other courageous writers' voices and not the critic's voice. To model myself after others who hit "publish", and submitted writing to journals and publishing companies. Who walked with the tension of writing that was full of life and all their own while simultaneously asking others to find value in it, enough value to read, buy, feature, and sell.
But most of all, I write because I'm a writer. And I know I'll continue writing if only for myself.