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ImageBeing at the start of your writing career can be the most exciting time of your life, it can equally be the most terrifying. People may have been experimenting with writing as a hobby for years but when it comes to that moment where you send your first piece writing off, whether it be an article, a blog, a short story or a poem, it is the most stomach churning time you could ever have.

The evil voices lurking in your subconscious saying ‘they won’t like it’ ‘you are only fooling yourself here’ or ‘why would anyone choose you?’ But the problem with this kind of self-doubt is surely if you did not act on the opportunities which come your way, then how can your work ever be noticed?

“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right do I have to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle.”

-Richard Rhodes

Start of by doing competitions, whether it’s poetry, short stories or flash fiction just go for it. There are hundreds and thousands of magazines, websites, societies which are always offering competitions for writers and poets. Getting your work out there is the most important thing. After all, what is the use of it filling up space at home when it could be entertaining the masses.

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book. Give it, give it all, give it now.”

-Annie Dillard

When it comes to sending your work off professionally that is when it hits you, but you need to remember, every single writer from history to present has been through what you are going through right now. If anything, you should feel a sense of honour that you are now part of the elite writer’s circuit. You are not alone in your doubts. If you get negative feedback learn from it. Use the criticism to improve. After all, first drafts are called that for a reason. Ernest Hemingway could not have put it better.

 “The first draft of anything is shit.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Just remember although you sometimes feel completely alone in your thinking, family members and friends do not quite getting your passion, it is ok. Writers that dream to write and work at their crafts are the best writers they can be. So chin up, get your pens ready and let the writing commence people!

“This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”

-Natalie Goldberg