AKA, Believe You’re the Goddamned Best or Let Go of Ownership
As Gary Vaynerchuk said on his recent Hot Ones appearance, it is the new normal to be documenting, creating, recording and publishing content online. However, given we’re the first generation of people to do it, we’re still wrestling with fear, hesitance, and insecurity that we inherited from those before us.
As I alluded to in this post, fear (of failure and rejection) is the primary cause of writer’s block and the hesitation to publish your work.
To get over that fear, you need a core belief that can spur you on. The core belief takes root in you and replaces the fear that stops you. Today, I have two belief approaches that can help you get over the hump of fear.
Believe You’re The Best Goddamned Writer In This Stinking Joint
You’ve felt that feeling before. That impossible drive that is both insufferable and insatiable. Every chump with a laptop and glasses thinks they’re a writer, but you’re more honest than that.
You have a chip on your shoulder. Nobody recognizes how good you are, and you’re going to show them. If what it takes is writing 3 articles a week for the next 6 months, you’ll do it, and do it with style. And then they’ll come applauding.
The take-no-prisoners attitude of over-hyping yourself is a proven technique of success. People like Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump openly flaunt this attitude, and become their own hype machines. Using that public attention, they are able to harness power and gather people around them in support. Dictators of the past and present exist because they have a commanding charisma about them, which stems from confidence and entitlement.
A less extreme example is how Robert Downey Jr. carries himself. He has that aloof rogue-ish charm of someone who believes he’s entitled to the good things in life. It gets him a lot of attention from his peers and the media, who find this typically narcissistic behavior appealing instead of abrasive.
The energy that you put out into the universe comes back to you. If you believe you’re that good, a silly little thing like fear of failure will never stop you from writing and publishing. You’ll find yourself working harder to showcase your confidence and strength.
Let Go of The Feeling of Ownership of Your Content
You know the time-honored tradition of not shooting the messenger. If you let people know you’re passing on the information, as a public service, perhaps, any criticism they throw your way is invalid. You didn’t say it. Someone else did, and you passed it on.
Reasonable bias is fine. You interpreted the message in your way, but its spirit stayed. You can safely continue to be a good Samaritan and pass on useful information to people around you. If they hold you in regard because of this, all the better.
There is a certain freedom in believing that you are not the creator of your content. In a sense, it is true too. You learn facts and pick up messages from everywhere around you. You read, and you watch, and when you have processed, you write.
Your interpretation of your learned information is also shaped by the moral principles you received (or reversed) from your parents and childhood authority figures.
When you believe you’re passing off a good message, it can be a lot easier for you to shrug off the pressures of failure. It’s essentially a way to trick yourself into being more relaxed, so that you can write worry-free.
Storytellers and stand-up comedians mention a lot of people in their stories, inviting the audience to believe in the shared ownership of the messages being presented. Thus, they are able to project their material confidently.
Both Approaches are Equally Valid and Effective
Whether you choose to carry the chip on your shoulder or shrug the whole boulder off, the purpose is to help you shed fear and keep writing. Both free you up from the judgement of others, one by owning responsibility with abandon, and one by shirking it.
However, be careful of letting these feelings inform your writing. These are good tricks to get out of the gates. However they become hurdles once you’re on the racetrack. A sense of entitlement can quickly become reticence to work or dissatisfaction with the success achieved. A sense of surrender can devolve into lethargy and indifference.
I personally find myself using both approaches as I need them. The key is to have your goals in place, and then use an approach to get started on work. If you choose to try these, do tell me if they helped you, or if you invented a whole new approach that works for you.
Until next time, keep writing!