If you’re afraid, that’s okay. Writing is an angel, a monster, a shadow, a thing we’ve never encountered in all its glory or frightening brilliance. The writing itself is these things, but also that which is before the writing. The blank space in the mind, on the page, the white beaming screen and its tiny blinking cursor.
It’s okay to be afraid, but know this: you were called to write and nothing can stop you. Not the critics from the past, not your own demons, not the fear of failing. When you begin, those things get locked away, muffled, so that only the faintest voice eeks through - one that is easily stomped and discarded.
And also know this: you have everything you need to begin. The words, the pen, the paper, the fingers on the keys. Even in the vast blankness you can access what you need. Just begin and the emptiness disappears.
You were called and set your foot on this path. Never forget that. Never forget the importance of your words, whether they’re for you or the whole world.
Get out your secret notebooks, open your laptop, scribble a sentence on a napkin at the cafe. Wake up at 5 a.m. to write in the dark because you can’t wait any longer. Write out your dreams, bad poetry, emotional breakthroughs, short stories, dialogue you pick up at the mall. Collect little pieces of drama that will make up your novel. Maybe the novel that ends up on a bookshelf or maybe the novel that heals some part of you.
Not everything has to be witnessed, validated, devoured by the world. Sometimes we write to the person who needs it the most. Ourselves.
Whatever your path, walk it with your heart forward, your head high because you are a writer on a sacred journey and your writing will guide you. It always has.