Let me tell you a bit about this sport called boxing. It’s tough and rough, no doubt about it. But the most difficult and painful parts are not the ones you see on TV. No, the fights themselves are just the parts that people get to see. The real fighting, the struggle, takes places off-screen. The time spent practicing, hours and hours of physical training, shadow boxing, sparring. That’s the tough part. A few minutes in a ring with another fighter don’t even come close to what happens during a training.
Do you see a resemblance with writing?
I believe you do. You write and write, and edit, and rewrite, and then you present your story to the world. They read it and tell you what they think. Some might envy you for your talent, but the truth is that it makes you smile bitterly, because they don’t know how much you’ve struggled, how many times you rewrote that sentence to make it perfect.
The most difficult parts of writing take place far away from the reader. In a way, the most difficult parts of writing take place far away from anyone. They take place inside your soul, as you rummage for plots and characters.
What I find funny is that a lot of writers are afraid to share their works with the world. They’re afraid of rejection, of criticism, they’re afraid the world is going to tell them they’re not good enough.
But they never consider the fact that they’ve worked so hard that it doesn’t even matter what the world thinks. Simply put, the world can’t defeat them anymore.
I know it’s a cheesy line, but think of it this way: you spend a lot of time alone, doing your thing, deleting tens of thousands of words, rewriting the ones that survive countless times. Don’t you think the world deserves to read them? Let them judge, let them rate them, let them love or hate them, but don’t be afraid of the world.
It’s like stepping into the ring. Yeah, you might get shouted and booed by a lot of strangers, but they can’t hurt you any more than that.