It’s a common enough occurrence. You’ve spent the day at work, an hour in the car, thirty minutes in the shower, daydreaming about all the shocking plot twists, scintillating dialogue, and sweeping descriptions you’re going to write once you finally sit down in front of the laptop. You’ve cooked up ideas of blinding genius. You’re raring to go.
But then the worst happens: You open the word processor and stare at the blinking cursor, your mind suddenly blank, your fingers inept.
You start to question your worth as a writer. Am I cut out for this? you ask yourself. Am I smart enough? Creative enough? Motivated enough? Deserving enough?
Do I have anything important to say?
You lock up. You allow your doubts to freeze you. You close the laptop lid and fire up Netflix instead, telling yourself you’ll come back to the writing later.
But here’s the thing.
You are smart enough. You are creative, and motivated, and deserving enough. You do have something important to say, even if you’re not quite sure what that something is in the moment. You are a writer, and you are powerful.
Yes, writing is scary. It dares us to create something from nothing, to turn smoke into substance. It asks us to summon whole worlds from the deepest recesses of our minds.
It challenges us to venture into the unknown with naught but our imaginations to guide us.
It asks us to build up cities, countries, and continents — to create governments, religions, laws, and customs — only to tear them down in the denouement.
Best of all, it asks us to bring fully-formed characters to life — to not only show our readers the ardor of their love, the fire of their hatred, and the anguish of their grief, but to make our readers feel it, too.
We have the power to make a reader smell the delicate aroma of jasmine in a market stall, or hear the lonely caw of a crow in a misty forest. We have the power to make dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of strangers laugh at a witty turn of phrase. We can make them cry at the death of a beloved character.
The blank page is terrifying, but it’s also one of life’s greatest joys. The words we write — the words we so often doubt — have the power to speak quietly to someone else’s soul.
So remember: You are smart enough. You are creative, and motivated, and deserving enough. You are a writer, and you are powerful.