The fourth mistake most fiction writers make is counterintuitive, but correcting this mistake leads to powerful storytelling, not only in writing, but in the story of our lives.
Simply put, we underestimate ourselves.
Winston Churchill defined success as: The ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. Where does that enthusiasm successful writers tap into come from? From a reservoir deep inside that we already have.
Still, most of us dramatically underestimate ourselves.
We forget that we already have unlimited creative power hidden in us, begging to be uncovered so that it can shine.
We forget how powerful and gifted we are as storytellers; how brilliant our light is; how beautiful we are beyond the clouds that block our vision of who we are.
We forget that we can’t gain more light because we already are the light of the world; we can only remove that which blocks our sight of that light. And in that light, inspiration and creativity is boundless.
We forget that our first task as storytellers is to remove those clouds that block our sight so that we can write incredible stories. We don’t need to need to become better storytellers as much as remove all that blocks our sight of who we already are as incredible storytellers. If you doubt this, it’s only because you don’t yet know how good you are.
You see? We grossly underestimate ourselves.
But there’s more.
Story is this: A series of events involving worthy characters who change as a result of those events. This is true in the story of our lives as well. You are a worthy character who has experienced many series of events (plot), and your experience of life has changed as a result of those events.
But we tend to underestimate our own story. We forget that our own story of conflict and overcoming is as heart-wrenching and powerful as any hero’s struggle.
Don’t undersell yourself. What you’ve experienced in your life thus far, if you have the eyes to see, provides you with all you need to write incredible stories of overcoming, and writing those stories won’t only further transform your own life, it will affect the lives of those who read your writing, regardless of genre, even if your writing is patently non-spiritual.
See who you are as the hero on a journey of discovery, and you will be seeing how worthy and gifted you are as a storyteller, because storytelling is your journey.
You will still need to learn powerful storytelling craft, like the craft I share in The Creative Way. But, as much, you must learn how to unleash your own creative inspiration so that you can wield that craft without being crushed with self-doubt and unworthiness. These lies only restrict the creative flow that longs to pass through you.
Think of yourself as a faucet, and your inspired storytelling as the water. The reservoir of water is always there, but your pipes may be clogged, you see? So we must first help you unclog the pipes so your creativity can flow unrestricted.
Then we can go about the business of learning the unique craft of writing the kind of stories that connect deeply with others.
The only way to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm, is to realize that each “failure” isn’t really a failure at all, but simply yet one more opportunity to uncover the greater creative power you already have and are.
Never underestimate yourself, my friend. You are far greater than you can possibly imagine.
Indeed, you have only just begun to tap your gifting as a storyteller.