Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Write Like You Don't Know You Can Fail

Have you ever had someone you know, all of the sudden, decide to do something completely stupid? Recently someone I know decided that she was going to be a photographer. The kicker is, she was really terrible at photography. Her pictures were lousy and she didn't even know how to use Photoshop. Or even Lightroom. Her camera wasn't all that fancy or expensive, and I'm pretty sure she only had one lens! What?!

She simply announced on Facebook that she would charge $100 for a sitting fee and the disc of photos she took was yours to keep. Bam! She was completely inexperienced and she was advertising herself as a photographer. What a nut!
 I would have done things so much differently. I would have researched photography, practiced all day and night. I would have read everything I could get my hands on. I would have bought the best camera money could buy (and a couple of fancy lenses) and then learned to use Lightroom AND Photoshop. (All the best photographers know both!)
 I would probably take pictures for free for about a year or two and then, and only then, would I start charging people. Actually, I probably wouldn't EVER start charging people because I would never have felt like I was worthy enough to charge for my services.
 What happened to my friend the photographer you ask? The girl who did EVERYTHING WRONG?  I bet you can guess what happened! She succeeded.
She is currently a working photographer. Not just working, but successful. She's making money and her pictures are looking great!

There's a reason why I didn't use writing as an example, (it hits too close to home) but I easily could have. If you're a wanna be writer you can probably relate.
So what's the lesson in this? Now listen close, you might have heard this before.
Nobody's perfect!
There it is. We have to quiet the perfectionist in our minds.
We have to decide that we're good enough to put our work out there for the world to see. We are good enough to call ourselves writers.
We have to find the confidence, that same confidence that lead a mediocre (at best) photographer to start her own business. People do it all the time and it can be you.

 If failure is not an option for you then eventually you're going to have to finish that novel and put it out there for the world to see. Eventually you're going to have to call yourself a writer, or a photographer or whatever it is you've been dreaming of being. And if you work hard enough, and long enough, and pretend like you have no idea that you could fail at whatever it is you're working on, you'll have no choice, but to succeed!

"Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been."-Kurt Vonnegut


  1. Such good advice. I needed that today!! Thank you.

  2. Thanks. I guess it's all about self confidence, and sometimes that's tough to muster:) For me anyway!!