The publishing world is vast. It’s a seemingly infinite ocean. It looks cold and deep. How could you possibly choose to swim it and become a writer yourself?
I embarked on this blogging journey just a little while ago. Getting started was a real challenge. Only it wasn’t, once I actually started writing. Looking back, I probably should have made this decision earlier.
For long, I felt a need to just write and turn my thoughts into words for others to read. First of all, it was about writing for the sake of writing. However, I also felt the urge to connect. Writing is a sort of dialogue - between you and yourself, and between those who listen and feel with you.
I wanted to become a writer to reach out to those who truly care. For this to happen, I needed to give in to my passion and just start doing. There was no other way but to head out to the ocean.
But then there was the but. It’s what echoes in every writer’s head. „Why are you trying to do this? This is risky. Aren’t you more safe without it?“ This but often comes disguised in a rational or a realist manner. It wants you to blush when doing your confession as a writer. It wants to stir second thoughts, pity and regret. It wants to create discomfort to make you settle for a more comfortable way. The easy way of not facing what’s truly inside you. This but is called fear.
When standing at the ocean and thinking about crossing it, everybody is afraid.
However, I didn’t want to ask for permission to write. And didn’t want to question, to consider, to negotiate. I didn't want to please. I just wanted to write. I am still just as naive.
And so I decided to swim the ocean. I launched a website and gave it a name. I was more creative than pragmatic about its name, though. It should express that I was small - still, but somehow confident to make a dent. With the minimal decided to tap my toes into the cold waters of digital publishing and see if I could stay up.
Stories and the written word mean a lot to me. To me, everything just works better if it has a story attached to it and I can read about it. I have been a keen reader since my early childhood and have kept an extensive reading habit ever since. A lot has shifted to reading digital print these days, though. (I guess, we could have an argument about this.)
I recently discovered the service Longform. They have a universal app for iOS. It’s a story reader, one that focusses on longer articles which often come second after news and ads in major publications. Their logo pictures a lighthouse. It makes me think about the ocean of the writing world and just how vast it is. Longform at first portrays you a sheer endless breadth of high quality writing that’s out there. But the app also highlights the authors behind the stories which makes it personal. You can follow their work.
I love the app and I have found myself doing a lot of reading on Longform, lately. I have found many pieces that aroused and inspired me. I started following writers and I am looking forward to their next articles. I am connecting with them through their writing. Maybe when they started, they have just been as naive as you and I.
The ocean is full of dangers. You could drown easily. With all the mighty sharks and big whales out there, any newbie and indie writer seems tiny and lost. How could you ever gain the confidence to make yourself heard or even publish something of reasonable quality that’s worth any reader’s attention?
Well, maybe, out there in the ocean, it’s not about dog-eat-dog. Maybe it’s more about symbiosis. Maybe it’s about being passionate. Maybe passion is a powerful thing that connects.
If you consider yourself a writer as well, you may carry that same spark within your heart that I do. It’s the love for the craft. You love to form words, build text and give meaning. You love to contribute and to influence.
What made me jump into the waters was the belief there was still a spot for me out there. There was still someone wanting to read my words. Just like me, there are others out there on the ocean who look for someone to hold onto, who look for someone to be inspired by. There are still others out there who want to connect. With you - if you just speak your voice.
Just dare to write and dare to publish. Don’t be afraid of the ocean. Be the tiny cork that doesn’t sink. If you just swim, you will grow stronger. Your writing will be a raft that keeps you afloat, no matter the breaks and currents and storms ahead. It’s the wildness of the waters that make the ocean beautiful.
I believe it’s about passion. If it isn’t for love and being emotional about it, your writing will not be sustainable. But if you write with passion, your message might just reach shore and find its receiver. Out there on the ocean, there are many courses to reach a destination. Just enjoy and let yourself float.
This is the last post I wrote in a ten day workshop called “Ten Days to a Better Blog”. Also check out my day 1, day 2 and day 3. It's about commitment, engaging with like minded others and growing yourself as a writer. It has been fun. It’s still open for anyone to join and won’t close anytime soon. I would love to hear from you about it on Twitter.