Paper. Light. Words. Captured at my last San Francisco workshop. By Esmé Weijun Wang.
You’ve got blocks. I’ve got answers.
No expository intro required.
Let’s just dive in …
“I don’t write because … it’s all been said before. And somebody else said it better.”
You’re absolutely right. It has all been said before.
When you write, you’re probably not revealing “revolutionary” or “innovative” information. You’re probably offering a timeless reminder about a universal subject, like love, compassion, balance, jealousy, grief, creativity or peace.
The kind of timeless reminder that we (your appreciative readers) need to hear. And keep hearing. Again. And again.
Until one day — because of the way you phrased it, because of the twist you gave it, or because of the personal story you wrapped around it — we finally get it.
Your new mantra: “Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens, we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” –Andre Gide
“I don’t write because … nobody’s reading yet!”
50 years ago, Mister Rogers began his award-winning, nationally-syndicated television program with a budget of $30 + a simple dream: to create a “daily expression of care” for the children he loved.
6 years ago, Lady Gaga was a waitress in New York City — performing early material at night clubs, when she was fortunate enough to book a gig.
4 years ago, when I wrote my very first post for this particular blog, I had zero readers. After about a week, I had exactly one: my dad.
Every writer, every performer, every creator begins at zero. There is no way to shortcut or circumvent this reality.
The only way to build an audience is to keep creating — consistently, enthusiastically, helpfully.
Your new mantra: “If I help one person today — and that person shares my work with one other person — then I have done well.”
“I don’t write because … my life has been relatively easy. I’ve never ‘overcome’ any obstacles. What right do I have, to speak?”
We live in a world that adores a good “triumph over adversity” storyline.
If you’ve discovered how to do something, without having to “suffer” to figure it out, congratulations! A gift is a gift is a gift.
Know yours, and use them well.
Your new mantra: “Some lessons are won the hard way. Others come naturally. All are valid. All are valuable. All are worth sharing.”
P.S. What stops YOU from writing, speaking, performing or creating — in public? Share your biggest woes, below.