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Lessons Learned From Writing

Once upon a time, during the dark and isolated times of covid lockdown, thoughts of trying to be “good enough” raced through my head. Wanting nothing more than to feel overwhelming pride, I wrote 14 short stories and half a book before I turned 15. All while working on Eerily Wrinkling, my brainchild.

Shame hides in all sorts of packages. Everyone who has publicly produced anything of value has faced those voices that scream, “You’re not good enough!” and “You don’t know enough!” Acknowledging them hurt. It hurts a lot. Face the fear. Face it bravely. You can create something. So look fear straight in the eye and shout that you are worthy. You may have to say exclaim your worthiness repeatedly because the bellowing thunder that questions everyone's worthiness may reappear. It’s all part of the journey.

Once you stand up to your fears, people start projecting their fears onto you, sometimes through the proclamation of their love. Secretly they may fear losing you, so they’ll unintentionally try to keep you small to keep you for themselves.

Find a tribe. Find people who believe in you. Find those who admire your courageous, bright light instead of being blinded by it. Those who want to lift the lid off your unique box and see your creativity thrive. Only then will your critics see you’re serious; their criticism might melt into inspiration.

Another essential thing to remember is that the work will never be perfect. We are all human, and we need to accept that. This is hard for me. My family and the school system taught me that I could and should be perfect. I relished that feeling. I bathed in the glory of 100%. Then, I became an author. Where’s the 100%? Where’s the ceiling? When will it be perfect? I felt like Cell from Dragon Ball Z chasing an impossible goal that, in the end, could never be reached.

Anytime I found an error or a flaw, I would bathe in shame. Anytime I made a mistake, my heart would break. About a year and hundreds of errors later, I realized terrorization is a vital component of all critical learning systems. It hurts to lose, but you start to see the world differently. No longer is it the one you grew up in. Now it is a blank notebook with adjectives, nouns, and verbs everywhere.

In the real world, there’s no ceiling. Once I learned to see past my own conditioned fear, I realized imperfection is beautiful. Unlike a fantasy story, we as humans don't seek perfection. Our eyes truly can't witness such a thing without turning us mad. We never really think about it, but we are constantly on the unleveled ground thanks to the Earth's axis. Should we stand on a truly straight line, everything else will seem crooked, and we will never find anything else reasonable enough.

Every line divides your creative outlet and reality, not just with writing but with all art. Your outlet is a direct mirror of your existence. Whatever energy breeds in your day-to-day world will immediately show itself to your readers.

Everything I wrote that was full of authentic emotion got a genuine emotional reply. Everything I approached half-heartedly got no response. There’s no fooling the system. If you want to improve your art, improve yourself. It is the only way to grow. And don’t ever forget that you’re strong, powerful, and indestructible. You can do anything you want to, and you’re worth every bit.

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