A couple weeks ago, I took the first draft of my Christmas novella,
The Journal The Journey of Joseph Winter: A Christmas Fairy Tale, and decided to go to Lulu.com and have a real bound copy of it printed. It took about a week to arrive, but when it did, it felt incredible to stand there and hold in my hands something I’d actually created.
Even though it was a very rough draft of what the finished product will be, it was an incredible rush. Yes, the cover isn’t the best (it looks pretty ordinary), but to actually see it bound and look semi-professional, it gave me even more motivation to complete it.
I’ve spent far too much time thinking about what the story could be, getting too wrapped up in my insecurities, worrying about how sloppy it feels right now, and fearful no one will like it. I wonder what other writers’ first drafts look like, and think, “I bet mine is terrible in comparison. How will I ever create a masterpiece out of this?”
All of this was based on a rough first draft.
Something hit me while I held that little bound copy in my hands. It’s something I clearly should have let slap me across the face much earlier than now: I finished a story I set out to tell.
No, it’s not perfect (yet), but I wrote it. It is mine. And I need to be proud of that. I think about all of the other ideas I have floating in my head, and they seem to be so far away and so monumental that I can’t imagine finishing them. Yet, I stand here with a small accomplishment in my hands—proof that I am capable, proof I can write, proof I can finish a story I set out to tell. It represented a symbol of what I can do, not of what I cannot.
I need to stop trying to create a masterpiece, and just tell a good story. I need to stop wondering if my writing is to the quality of other writers. I need to stop comparing myself to others. I need to realize I can do this, and I’m good at it, in my own way.
No longer will I be held by my insecurities, as they’ve held me back longer than they should have. I have too many characters clawing at my insides, begging me to get off my butt and tell their stories.
I will. And I am.
I will no longer be bound; I am free.