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I don’t believe any writer has 100% confidence in every sentence she writes. She always second guesses. She always wonders if what she is writing is worthwhile.
Earlier, I came across a fantastic quote that I am about to lay on my students and have them respond to in class. The quote is by writing teacher and author Peter Elbow. Elbow says in his book, “Writing With Power,” the following:
“The essential human act at the heart of writing is the act of giving. There’s something implacable and irreducible about it: handing something to someone because you want her to have it; not asking for anything in return; and if it is a gift of yourself—as writing always is—risking that she won’t like it or even accept it.”
If you combine the two suggestions I’ve presented to you, both the quote from MargaretFeinberg.com and the quote from Peter Elbow, you’ll realize that writing is special because it comes from you. It’s a gift from you. You may taunt yourself and question yourself and beat yourself up by saying, “This has already been said before,” but actually it hasn’t. Producing writing that comes from your voice and your perspective is what’s important.
To me, this is relevant and pertains to anything you put in writing, whether it’s a family history, a memoir, a short story, a piece of nonfiction writing, a piece of fiction or novel, or even a love letter this upcoming Valentine’s Day.
Keep writing; build up that confidence, and strive to put those words on paper. They matter because they come from you.