When you sit down to write, do you sometimes feel you’re wasting your time?
It can seem like an impossible task, to start from scratch and build a name for yourself as a writer.
After all, there are already so many other, more successful writers.
They get all the attention.
Their blogs have like a bazillion followers and yours has eight.
It seems hopeless
It’s especially tough if you’re trying to earn money from your writing.
The whole freelance-writing game seems so competitive.
And crowded with established pros.
It seems pretty unlikely you could start at this late date and end up earning real money.
Why even start? Why try?
I mean, let’s be realistic here.
Or that’s how you might think, sitting at your writing desk, full of despair.
At the movies, it’s different
When we sit down in that darkened theater, something magical happens.
We believe that mutant turtles that are trained ninjas live in the sewers of New York.
And that British children might attend a school where they can learn to be magicians.
A young girl can travel over the rainbow in a flying house to a kingdom of tiny people.
In showbiz, they call this shift in our thinking the suspension of disbelief.
Ordinarily, we would immediately dismiss these notions. Preposterous!
But under the right circumstances, we pause. We quiet the voice in our head that says, “That’s ridiculous.”
We want to go on this journey, and we let the movie transport us there.
For a time, we believe.
Bring the magic home with you
Now, try applying suspension of disbelief to your writing.
You want to write, yes? This is a journey you want to take.
You can take the first step by letting go of all your thoughts and worries about what you think are the realities of the writing world.
Let that world of the concrete slip away.
Because writing is all about fantasy, isn’t it? And creating new worlds?
So just for today, believe that you can write something wonderful — and it will find an audience.
You might write something that will move and inspire other people. Or teach them how to do something useful.
Your writing is special. No one else writes like you.
Believe that there is room in the writing world for your unique voice.
Many of the most difficult tasks are only achievable if we don’t look at the hard facts too closely.
It’s better not to think about everything that could go wrong, or how long and hard the road might be if we’re planning to summit Everest, for instance.
Now look at your fingers and realize what you’ve got in there: magic.
Milo went ahead and rescued the princesses in The Phantom Toolbooth because no one told him the task was impossible until the end.
Building a writing career is the same.
You might think that logically, it’s impossible…but just forget about that for a few hours now, while you’re writing.
Because great new writers emerge every day. Every year there are new bestselling breakout authors.
Find your guide
If you find roadblocks along the way, ask for help, just like the hero always does in the movies. Maybe there’s a scarecrow on the path, or a strange, little green bog dweller who turns out to be a Jedi master.
Turn off the part of your mind that wants to point out it can’t be done, just like you do at the movies.
Keep learning, and keep writing. For now, imagine you have a bright future ahead as a writer.
Envision the writing life you want, and then write your way there.
One day, you might find you don’t have to pretend anymore.
This guest post is by Carol Tice. Looking for a guide? Carol Tice has a 4-week bootcamp starting July 10: The Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success For more info, click here.