Writing: Facing and overcoming challenges

Bloganuary Day 14

Dear World,

If life was easy to navigate then the joy of winning at life wouldn’t feel as fulfilling as when you fight and work diligently to achieve what you want.

Have you ever faced a situation that crippled you with fear and anxiety? A situation that you know you had to face and overcome despite the conditions? I have. If you haven’t, don’t worry. That time is coming.

You would’ve seen me write about the unqualified and their false truths. You would’ve also seen me write about naysayers and generally negative people who project their thought process on my life. All those situations can be grouped and identified as challenges to overcome.

The time where a colleague in the upper management of an organisation I worked for told me to my face that I cannot write and that I’m not qualified to be writing. That hit me hard but it also made me think.

My thoughts included:

1. If I was so unqualified for the role, why on earth would you have hired me? Why welcome me with the fake ass open arms if you didn’t want me there in the first place?

2. Maybe this person isn’t completely wrong. There’s always room for improvement, anyways. So though my writing surely didn’t suck, there was nothing wrong with improving

3. This person for sure saw something great in me and probably felt threatened or someone they preferred would’ve been threatened just by my potential. It could also have been a case where they were simply the devil’s spawn who did not want to see me win. Yes, there are people like that in the world.

Though I struggled with all three, the one I had the most difficulty with in terms of traversing life was the second. I acknowledged that there was always room to improve. However what got me was the “am I good enough to have improvement capabilities? Or am I just a sub-par writer?”. These thoughts flooded my mind every single time I had an assignment to produce an written content. It wasn’t even a one off statement from this person. At every opportunity, they fixed their mouth to speak negativity over my craft instead of lifting me up in the space.

I allowed their thoughts to infiltrate mine. That then led to doubts. So, even though I knew my capabilities at the time – and that this person was wrong – the fact that they were senior to me and in a decision making position terrified me. I was even afraid to try. Navigating the space and putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I felt as though I was attacking a 5000 piece puzzle while intoxicated with a completion deadline.

Let’s face ot, with those conditions, many folks would be frazzled.

Needless to say, every submission I made left my inbox with me sweating buckets worried that this decision making senior person was gonna trash my work and continue to spew false truths about me and my writing.

There came a point, however, where I had enough. There was no way that I could control what that person said and when they spoke about me. However, I could always work diligently to improve my writing. So that’s what I did. I channelled my anxieties into making myself better. That step was not for this mean critic. It was more for me especially considering that I had aspirations to write bigger and better content that transcended that space.

So I worked to improve my craft and hone my skills. I took every critique with a grain of salt and looked beyond the razor sharp teeth and slithered tongue that uttered the words of a critic. At the end of the day when all was said and done, it was my work with my name and my brand going into every syllable and punctuation mark. Granted, the work ultimately represented my employer, but it also represented me. That was my driving factor.

The best part in all this is that with the concerted effort to produce better work every time, my content landed in local media like 70-80% of the time. My writing was more respected and folks leaned on me for help or guidance or general input.

So, that’s how I faced and overcame a challenge. The life lessons are there. I haven’t explicitly stated what they are but you’re a smart person, I’m sure you can pick them up.

What challenge have you faced and overcame? Talk to me.

Signed with love,

The Suburban Girl JA


5 Comments Add yours

  1. petchary says:

    Writers (me included) always have awful self-doubts. And anyone creative, come to that. You just have to keep working on it – for yourself, and not for that highly critical person who may have their own reasons for responding negatively to your work. So as you say – do it for yourself! You cannot lose. You have learned that lesson and can move forward now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cannot lose! Thank you much, Emma. Forward and upwards for all of us. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Petulla says:

    I am truly encouraged by this post…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy to have offered some encouragement! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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