“If you believe, clap your hands.”
Oh wait, that’s how we save tiny fairies. However, many writers are just as fragile as any gossamer-winged creature written by James M. Barrie. In fact, some of us are much more fragile.
I’m pretty sure itsy, bitsy Tinker Bell believed in herself enough to fly as high as the top of Captain Hook’s tallest sail, and then straight on ‘til morning. We’re a gazillion times larger, and not nearly as sweet and cute as a fairy. So why don’t we have the confidence to believe in ourselves as writers?
It’s important to believe, you know. Otherwise, just like Tinker Bell, the writer in us will die. For every writer who says, “I don’t believe I am a writer” a book never lives. A soul never fulfills its destiny. No one makes a movie of the week about your life.
Sorry. Got carried away there for a minute. I know none of us writes because we think it will make us rich, or famous, or handsome, or beautiful. No, I didn’t think so.
If I could, I would sprinkle fairy dust over each one of you so you could fly… wrong story… could write like a fiend, cranking out massive volumes of words that the adoring public awaits with bated breath. Well, it could happen. Except that dust I just sprinkled over you was donut sugar. Oops. I’ll pay for the dry cleaning.
But I do know how to make you believe.
Do you truly want to know? Are you sure?
Okay, here’s the secret.
You have to speak your belief every single day.
“Oh, no!” you wail. “How can I say I believe I’m a writer when I’m such a dud, I’m so slow, I don’t know proper grammar, I…?”
Let me stop you right there with a gentle fairy whomp on the back of the head. And you – yes you, the one sniveling in the corner – maybe you need a not so gentle whomp.
We’re going to do this together so it won’t be so scary.
First, just let it slide into your mind, where no one else can hear. “I believe.” Again. Don’t be so timid this time.
Now, whisper it aloud. Loud enough for only you to hear. “I believe.” Yes, that’s better.
We’re getting braver, now. This time, lean over and quietly tell the person next to you, “I believe.” Don’t become flustered when he gets up and moves to the other end of the bus. Just smile and nod. You’re starting to get it, and he’s starting to think about car-pooling tomorrow.
And finally – it’s showtime, folks! All together, now.
Stand up wherever you are and clap your hands. Slowly at first, loudly proclaiming, “I believe” with each slow clap. Feel that energy? It’s working. I feel writers rising up everywhere, filled with new life and purpose. Clap faster, and faster. Tell the world “I believe” as strong and loud as you can. Invite everyone around you to join in. “If you believe, clap your hands.”
Feel that wave of confident energy roll over you. Take a deep breath. Stand up straight and proud. Hurray for you! You are a writer and you believe it now.
The next time you forget, I’m sending Tinker Bell over to spit on your keyboard.