I am a realist.
Throughout my life I have struggled to grasp the concept of belief without proof. I need facts, I need evidence, I need witnesses, I need explanation. My brain thinks logically, linearly and rationally. Now before you start thinking I’m a robot, let me assure you I have my fair share of emotional entanglements, but when it comes to the concept of believing I struggle painfully to the point that I have daily apologies to God about my disbelief as I am constantly asking Him for explanation to that which I don’t understand because it frustrates me to no end.
For day two, Goins suggests that a writer should master the art of believing in herself as a writer (http://goinswriter.com/believe/).
Didn’t I just declare myself to be a writer? Now I need proof! I don’t need an esoteric exercise exploring my inner self. Now is the time to collect evidence to support my declaration.
Irritated, I ruminate on this suggested day two. I do believe I’m a writer, don’t I? I declared it. But is declaring something and believing it the same thing?
What does it mean to believe that I am a writer?
I start to dig deeper into what belief is and I recall an NPR series entitled “This I believe…”. Over 200 segments made up of this series, and I use it in my classroom. I love listening to the creeds of various people from across the world, some famous like Amy Tan or Tony Hawk, and sometimes they are high school students just like the kids I have in class every day. Each and every one of these essays are filled with belief, deep rooted truths that people hold dear to their hearts for various reasons that show what unite us as humans.
So maybe there is something to this idea of understanding what you believe about yourself. If I believe I am a writer, what does that mean for me? The easiest way to answer that question is with a creed similar to NPR.
I believe that as a writer I am capable of producing works that people will want to read.
I believe that the more I write the more comfortable I will become as a writer.
I believe that to be a writer you have to commit to the craft and surround yourself with support even if inside you have screaming doubts.
I believe that to silence the screaming doubts you have to keep pushing forward and continue writing and that is the only way to truly accept your belief.
I believe that saying you are a writer is only part of the battle; to truly believe it you have to act on it.
Writing is like any other profession; you have to actively pursue your goals to believe that you can be anything at all. Tomorrow’s challenge is to get up 2 hours earlier to write. That means I will be getting up at 4 am to write before going to work. Better set the coffee on now, because I believe that determination is key to helping you believe that anything is possible.