Why did I Lose my Confidence every time I took a Writing Course!? And how I Broke the Cycle.
~ Marianne Williamson
Since I’ve started taking the Find Your Voice course with Waylon Lewis, writing ideas have been springing up out of me at a dazzling pace. It’s been hard to keep up with them.
The best writing ideas always come to me as soon as I get into bed.
After my night meditation, I kiss my already-sleeping husband and son, put on my eye cover, place the soft pillow between my knees, and the bouncy pillow under my neck…I cover myself in my cozy comforter and stretch out with joy…I am finally going to sleep, later than I hoped, but oh well. I’ve been so creative, and I’ve accomplished so much.
Suddenly…an idea comes to mind.
I try to let it go, and get back to sleep…but it doesn’t let me.
So I get out of bed, carefully go down the narrow orange stairway with the steep concrete stairs that lead from our bedroom to the main floor, and cross our living room, stepping on the brownish-grey square stone tiles that are so unique to our house. I pass by the stone-carved fireplace, which looks a little like a cave entrance.
My feet are tired, yes, but my mind is stimulated with a new piece that writes itself with every step.
On my left is the wall library I so proudly designed, and the cozy mustard-sectional-sofa where my family loves to read. I take the narrow yellow stairs to my office, where my old white work desk is waiting for me, facing the big open window to our backyard.
It’s dark outside, and the nighttime chorus of nature is a perfect soundtrack for my writing.
A writing course is always a journey.
It’s not just about learning to write; it is about learning to connect with one’s inner self. We’re forced to get to know ourselves better, and so, we are confronted with sides of our being that we didn’t know, or that we’ve long suppressed, consciously or otherwise.
And that’s just what happened to me.
As my ideas came to me, I wrote them and posted them. I poured my heart into them. I gave up precious sleep time to write them. I couldn’t help it!
In our green neighborhood park, between chasing my son around the baseball field and collecting stones at the local stream, I checked my phone repeatedly. How many readers have I got so far? How many hearts? How many comments? I kept waiting for an email from Elephant’s editors, saying that my post was noticed.
But the email did not come, and as much as I refreshed my screen, the numbers refused to climb, much.
While my peers’ posts got noticed and promoted, my posts seemed totally ignored.
I took it personally.
My posts were not good enough. I was not good enough.
I was not a good writer.
I asked my Wisdom of the Oracle cards what I needed to know about my path as a writer. The card I got said:
“Although it may appear that you’ve gone backwards, the truth is that you are standing at a higher level, looking down into your circumstances. You will learn something, do something better, and break a cycle set up in the past.”
I was just annoyed by this card.
I thought it was totally irrelevant, and went off to meditate.
In my meditation, it came to me: this was not the first time I lost my confidence during a writing course. In fact, I lost my confidence every time I took a writing course. It was not because I was a bad writer—it was because I did not know how to learn from criticism.
When my teachers tried to teach me, I took it as a growth opportunity, but also as insult. It was not their fault; it was my own insecurities.
Deep down inside, I knew I was a good writer. I’ve already got enough confirmation. But my insecurity is rooted much more deeply than that.
It took me back to a childhood home, where I never ever heard the words:
you are smart,
you are beautiful,
you are talented.
I was not raised to be confident; I had to find my confidence on my own.
In many aspects of my life I did, but my writing remained a weak spot.
Where we are afraid the most is where our greatest power lies.
This is the Pluto principle in Astrology. Pluto is the planet of power and fear. Whether it empowers you or makes you fearful, is up to you. The key is to transform your fear into power.
I could see myself as a cute human being with weak spots, perfectly flawed. I could acknowledge that I was still searching my way. I could not expect life to be perfect, to work according to my expectations.
I could admit that I lacked confidence as a writer and that is okay. I didn’t have to pretend that I was so strong and resilient.
Only then could I be more open and learn how to become an (even) better writer.
I could be open to criticism because I was truly there to learn, and not just to hear what a good writer I was.
As soon as I stopped fearing my writing insecurities and could embrace them, I was empowered.
And while writing at my work desk, a locally-handmade citron-mandarin-scented-soy-candle burning next to me, I got the email I was hoping for:
My recent post was finally noticed and promoted.