Why I’m Scared to be a Writer

I fell in love with words when I was a child. At first, I wasn’t the best reader. I couldn’t read out loud and I had to take special reading classes while the rest of the kids my age were in their regularly scheduled English class.

My mother knew why I didn’t read very well — I wasn’t interested in the school’s reading material. After she introduced me to The Diary of Anne Frank and the Harry Potter series, my mind was blown. By the time I was in fifth grade, I was already writing my first book: The Boy with a Jewel in his Forehead.

That book didn’t go anywhere, of course, but it opened up a whole new set of possibilities for my future and my career. I wanted to be a writer and I would stop at nothing to get that done.

Over my high school career, I wrote 3 more novellas, a book of poetry, and several short stories. It wasn’t until I got to college that the idea of being a writer began to terrify me.

As a child, my parents were extremely supportive of what I wanted to do with my life. Not once did they tell me “Pick a more practical career” or “You’ll never make any money as a writer.” Instead, they encouraged me to write every day and helped me brainstorm story ideas.

When I got to college, however, I began to hear the doubt. Those things my parents never said to me were all of a sudden surrounding me.

“Writing is a great hobby, but it’s not a job.”

“English majors rarely get jobs in their field after graduation.”

“Writing isn’t a viable career choice.”

Suddenly, I was filled with nothing but doubt. I stopped trying because what was the point? My parents tried to encourage me like they had before, but, in my mind, the “real world” had spoken.

To this day, I’m filled with doubt about my writing abilities. I put so much pressure on myself: I need to be original; I need to write the best thing ever written; I need to fill my prose with some deep meaning that will make people stop and think. This pressure stops me from facing the page.

It’s difficult to get rid of these insecurities. It took a year to get up the courage to press publish right here on Medium. I convinced myself that I wasn’t creative, I didn’t have any good ideas, and I would never make it as a writer.

Today, my best friend told me that I’m happiest when I’m writing. She told me that I have a wonderfully creative mind and that I need to use it as much as I possibly can. She told me that I’m an amazing writer and she wishes I could see that, too.

Today, I sat down and I read article after article of how to be a successful writer. It turns out that all it takes is writing. The writing doesn’t have to be original or profound, it just has to be done. The more you write, the better you become.

So here I am, writing my first article for Medium. It’s a first of many.

I’m still terrified, but I’ve decided to take the chance anyway.

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Creative writer. Review Writer for realwomenofgaming.com. Broadcaster on Glimesh (vaughn_hellspawn). https://linktr.ee/vaughnhs

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Vaughn Johnston

Vaughn Johnston

Creative writer. Review Writer for realwomenofgaming.com. Broadcaster on Glimesh (vaughn_hellspawn). https://linktr.ee/vaughnhs