IWSG: Doing what’s right for you

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, when the…
IWSG Badge…founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. Click here to add your name to the list and join in…

When I was 8 our art teacher told us to paint the sky.
I started a poster paint wish-wash of greys just like the view outside the window and (in my memory) it was looking pretty good.
But then I looked around. All the other children at my table were painting a solid block of blue with round yellow suns and fluffy white clouds.
“Oh no,” I thought. “I’ve done it wrong.”
So I painted over my dishwater sky for one that blended in with everyone else’s.

Sometimes, usually when I’ve not made it on yet another competition, I wonder if I have the wrong ‘voice’ for competitions. I catch myself thinking that perhaps I should adjust my style.
But then I remember how often I wished that I hadn’t changed that picture, that I’d stuck with my original vision.

Conforming to something more generic may feel safer but there’s the danger of blending in too much.
Perhaps I’ve been entering the wrong sort of competitions. Probably I just need more practice. (Maybe I should stop messing around with short stories and concentrate on the novels. But I like being able to experiment with short stories and I think they are good practice for tightening up on techniques).
I have to remind myself that my voice is me. It’s who I am and it’s the stories I write. They may need some polishing, but I have to stand up and let my voice be heard, for better or worse.
I don’t want to have any regrets.

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4 Responses to IWSG: Doing what’s right for you

  1. Juneta says:

    Great post. No regrets. The doubt is hard to fight isn’t it? In 2011 I decided to start over, to go on a grand adventure. I retired from my job of 22 years. I moved from my home town where I have lived all my life, Texas to Florida, to pursue a dream, an idea, a feeling. In 2012 I decided to pursue writing for a career. I did not expect to make a living at it. I knew I would need to work a full time job, until I got it off the ground. Life has a way at throwing curve balls. I found a full time job, but that fell through a year later. Then I found another one, which did not work out. I am still looking. Somewhere along the way I have forgotten the wonder and joy that pushed me to write, because of life chaos. The joy of what is ahead. I need to believe in my ability to trudge through to the mountain top again, so I keep writing stories. I really like Florida and I am waiting for the adventure to begin again. In the mean time, I am writing. No regrets. Eyes forward–Geronimo! Jump–I am flying still, even if the air around me is turbulent.

    Keep writing those stories. Its a journey and a lesson we learn in the doing from my hero’s and heroine’s, if only I will continue to tell their stories. Your stories will find the place that suits them best. Write with no regrets. I like that sentiment.

    Joy in Writing
    Juneta at Writer’s Gambit


    • Angela says:

      ah life chaos – that comes in so many forms doesn’t it, but without it we’d probably have less inspiration for writing. Brave to start out on your own, hang in there – adventures usually come when you’re not looking for them 😉


  2. Donna McDine says:

    Stay true to your own unique voice. Stay strong and write!


  3. Kirsten says:

    This is so true.
    I didn’t write at all for a long, long time, because I was sure that what I longed to say was trivial and irrelevant. It wasn’t until I stopped caring about what people thought (and I don’t even know why that happened …) that words started to pour out.
    Stay true to who you are! There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to express yourself. 🙂


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