This week’s tip comes to us via the awesome Cara Achterberg. I had the pleasure to meet her when I was a librarian, and follow along on her writing journey, which included penning amazing stories… and collecting a healthy number of rejection letters. I’m happy to report the publishing world finally wised up. She now has multiple novels in print as well as a non-fiction title, with several more in the pipeline.
“Instead of writing with a reader in mind or worrying about someone reading what you’ve written, write as if NO ONE will ever see your words. This gives your heart permission to unleash its deepest, rawest thoughts, fears, hopes—and those, my friend, are the real gold nuggets of your writing. As a reader, I’m sure you know when an author is writing authentically and when she or he is working it.
My own writing never got off the ground until I let go of my fear of what others would think. I had to stop worrying that my mother would read a sex scene and conclude that I’ve had sex, or a friend would imagine I was writing about them (as I might have been) and take offense, or someone I admire would think I sounded like an idiot.
In order to really write, you have to forget those people who would judge you—they can’t exist.