Why You Shouldn’t Care About What Other People Think

By on August 14, 2019

Many writers would agree that they care too much about what other people think. They worry that people will ridicule them for trying to make it as a writer, they worry that they will judge them over what they choose to write about, they worry that they'll be left bad reviews or constantly get rejected by agents and publishers.

The problem with all this concern over other people's opinions of our writing is that they can crush our confidence, and if we let our fear of what other people might think take over, it can stop us from writing in the first place.

Of course, realistically we can't stop caring altogether. Being concerned about our image, our reputation, our professionalism, and how we are received as writers can serve us well if we care in the right way. We should care about our readers, and we should care about doing our best.

However, it is when we care too much we could end up doing a disservice to ourselves.

There are many reasons why a writer might start to get the fear and let other people's opinions take over. You might want to blog but be worried you'll come across as arrogant of self-obsessed. You might want to write an autobiography but have concerns about hurting friends and family. Or, you might want to write a sex scene or a murder scene or about a topic that could cause controversy.

The truth is, however, that it doesn't need to be anything specific. For many writers just writing, in general, can make that little voice of self- doubt start to creep in and take over - meaning we write less, we don't write about what we truly want to and the whole process becomes far less enjoyable too.

But how do you train yourself to stop giving a damn about what other people think? It sometimes is easier said than done. However, here are a few things you can try.

Remember to stay true to yourself. There is no point in watering down your writing or not writing about what you are truly passionate about. Be brave, be daring, and just follow your heart. You can always tell yourself you don't have to show it to anyone in the initial stages anyway. So just remember that and never silence or censor yourself.

Know that rejection happens to everyone. Even the very best, richest, most famous and celebrated authors have been rejected at some point. Some have been rejected over and over again. Take solace in the fact rejection happens to everyone and remember that the ones that made it did so because they never gave up.

Understand that not everyone can like what you write. Not everyone has the same taste, this is true of food, of fashion of what TV shows movies people like, and so it's only natural that the same applies to writing. Accept that your book cannot be something that everyone will enjoy and once you truly believe that you'll feel a lot freer!

Remember, sometimes negative reactions aren't all that they seem.

If someone leaves you a bad review, your instant reaction is to take it really personally and feel wounded and crushed. However, competition jealousy, insecurity, or having a personal vendetta against you could all be reasons why someone is negative about your work. It's important to remember that the reasons are not always clear, so bear that in mind next time someone gives you not-so-great feedback about your work.

Worrying incessantly is not helpful for anyone. It is so much more important to be true to yourself as a writer, to follow your dreams and passions and to be able to let things go and concentrate on what matters. Remember, writing is a gift, and we should find joy and take pleasure in our writing, so next time you feel like worrying about other people's opinions and let them start to slow you down, just remember the above and then get back to it!

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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