“Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.”
This is the #1 piece of advice shared by the McSweeneys. No, I’m not ashamed to admit I don’t know who they are, or the Colin Nissan who wrote the article. But I would be ashamed to admit not being willing to take or share their advice with other writers.
And, honestly, not just writers, but editors, publishers, press owners/workers, and copy writers/editors–everyone who dives in with the career of their choice.
You have to be willing to make yourself vulnerable to your dream. I’ve lived my life fearing rejection and choosing to do or not do things based on the odds of whether or not I would be rejected afterwards. But writing was the one thing I was willing to face rejection for.
My desire to create, to write, to work with manuscripts was too strong to let a little rejection get in my way. And it turned out that I could do pretty well, when handed up before an audience of my peers. I could withstand their criticism, even when I didn’t agree with it.
Not that I’m advising flashing unsuspecting or, worse, unwilling audiences with your genitals, but I am proposing that you do something toward making a dream of yours come true today that makes you feel a little vulnerable. Whether it’s submitting that short story you’ve been editing for over a year or taking a couple public speaking courses, put the money in your corner and take a chance on yourself.