Every writer has those moments of doubt, when a few carefully chosen words of encouragement can make all the difference. Writing is mostly a solitary experience and it takes a certain kind of person, not only to live in this quiet place, but to silence their inner critic just long enough to produce something creative. However, it is immeasurably helpful when someone who has already made the journey, lifts the veil on this little world of ours and whispers wise words that help to lift our spirits and see us through. Sometimes you just need to hear that yes, your stories are worth telling.
“Your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrased, perhaps also protesting. But don’t give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and the day will come when, instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers–perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach.
No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”
“The most important thing to realise is that everyone is capable of telling a story. It doesn’t matter where we were born or how we grew up. I was the first writer in my family; all my relations were grocers or lawyers. They read books by other people, but they thought it was a bit fancy to go and write them. Also I was from a quiet suburb in Ireland, which is a small country. Who would want to read my stories? But the imagination has no limits. Wherever you are is interesting if you know where to look. Promise to take yourself seriously – well, seriously enough to do something about this sneaking belief that you can tell a story as well as the next person.”
“Tell your story. Don’t try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Because [as a] starting writer, you always start out with other people’s voices — you’ve been reading other people for years… But, as quickly as you can, start telling the stories that only you can tell — because there will always be better writers than you, there will always be smarter writers than you … but you are the only you.”