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Writing Despite Insecurities

Insecurities are something we all have in common. It can be a daily struggle to try and overcome certain doubts that are floating through our minds. Insecurities can come from any experience we’ve had in our lives and be focused on absolutely anything pertaining to ourselves. Whatever it is that’s hindering your full confidence in something, it doesn’t always have a negative impact.

Whether it’s work related, health related, or anything under the sun, insecurities don’t always have to be bad. But, in a perfect world, that would be true 100% of the time. Insecurities can have a negative impact when they start hindering you from doing the things you enjoy or being the person you want to be. Doubts start entering your head, and a lot of times they find a cozy spot in your brain and call it home. It gets easier sometimes to believe that you’re not good enough to do something, you’re not strong enough, talented enough, whatever the case may be. These thoughts keep us from doing great things and enriching our lives!

I’ve been interested in writing ever since I was little. I would make up stories all the time and even pretend to write commercials for different products I was familiar with. Whenever I was going through a rough time and I would just write down everything I was thinking and feeling. I’m not the best person at communicating my feelings to others so instead, it was easier for me just to get everything out on paper. This writing process eventually developed into me finding my love for poetry. I’ve read works from several different people and there are always those pieces that are able to make me feel connected somehow and like I was not alone in my experiences. Other people may not be going through the exact same thing you are, but when it comes down to it, emotions are universal. We all know what it’s like to feel angry, hurt, alone, not good enough, the list goes on and on. I wanted to give to people what others had given me, a life raft through writing. What seems like a minuscule poem, random art piece, or a simple song you wrote at 3am, could mean so much more to others.

My main goal in deciding to share my work with others on social media wasn’t because I thought I was some amazing writer. I thought if there was some way I could do something to make a random person smile or feel like they weren’t as alone as they thought, the insecurities would be worth it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I was scared about what people were going to think. Would they make fun of me or think what I was doing was stupid? I believe that’s what holds a lot of us back, the fear of what others will think. I know it’s something I still struggle with, but I acknowledge that it’s there, and it’s something I will continue to work on.

So, eventually I made an instagram page for my poetry under an alias. I wanted to share what I had to say with others, but I wasn’t quite ready to tell anyone I knew yet. So for a long time I posted on a completely separate account, still afraid of telling those closest to me. I ended up getting great feedback from complete strangers and it really boosted my confidence. I had other writers wanting to collaborate with me and come up with content ideas together. I felt great! After a while, I realized that I wanted to share my work with people I knew. I was extremely nervous because they were people I’ve grown up with, hung out with, made memories with. There was a face to put to a name. Then I remembered why I started writing in the first place. It wasn’t to please other people. It was an outlet for myself, and eventually turned into a way for me to connect with others. How amazing is it that we can speak to people halfway across the world with completely different cultures and upbringings, and STILL be able to bond over things ? So, I decided to set my insecurities to the side and make a public post about my writing page. And you know what ? It turned out awesome! People were very supportive and even went a read my work or followed my page. I didn’t want or need recognition and that wasn’t my goal in doing so. I figured if I could help strangers in the tiniest ways like they’ve helped me, my friends deserved it too.

This topic has been something that’s been on my mind for years now and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to speak on it. I did a short interview with a fellow artist/writer that I went to high school with, Nikki Benenhaley. I was very excited to be able to talk with another creative mind and compare stories of overcoming insecurities with her. Here’s what she had to say:

Me: So what got you into writing?

Nikki: I’ve always really been into writing since middle school! My English teachers then really gave us the ability to create stories and poems, and I loved that freedom of being able to express myself so freely. Besides that, writing was something that I could control and express myself, whereas I couldn’t do so much anywhere else. It’s a safe haven.

Me: What were your feelings when you decided to share your writing with others? Were you anxious or nervous?

Nikki: I was definitely anxious to share with the world any of my writing. My writing reflects a lot of my vulnerabilities and anxieties, but also experiences throughout my life. It takes a lot of strength to share these parts of yourself with world, but it’s so meaningful in the end. There’s also a lot of excitement with this too, in my opinion. People love my writing and are waiting for the moment I can get published.

Me: That’s awesome to hear! I felt the same way when I started sharing mine. I was nervous but at the same time I was hoping to be able to connect with other people and be able to write something they could relate to. Do you ever worry what others might think of your writing? If so, what are some of the things you’ve done to try and overcome this?

Nikki: I definitely worry that people will think it’s not good enough, too repetitive, etc. Lately, that’s been something I’ve been dealing with a lot. Some things I’ve tried to do is to take a break from it for a bit and come back to it. I’ll also just have to circle through mental reminders that I’m okay, I’m good enough, etc.

Me: Yeah I’ve done the same thing. Part of you is like, “This is my writing and it’s good enough as long as I’m happy with it.” And then another part of you is like “Well, what if people think negatively about it or think it’s dumb.” What would be some advice you would give to someone who wants to start writing and maybe even share their work publicly ?

Nikki: I would say have a decent writing app or keep a journal with you at all times. A lot of the best written works I’ve completed started out as some fleeting thoughts walking through a coffee shop or in class. As for sharing work publicly, I think starting small is the best way at first. Get comfortable with sharing it online in some way, shape, or form. Maybe share it at a stand up before you take the plunge into writing a full blown novel.

The conversation ended with me thanking her for her time and advice. And what great advice it was! Your creative outlets are most definitely something you can keep private. Like Nikki said, it can be a safe haven. But if the one thing that’s holding you back from sharing some of your greatness with the world is the opinions of other people, I promise you there is a whole community out there full of support for you. You could inspire others! You might even inspire yourself. Don’t let insecurities get in the way of your own potential. There are so many people out there who would love and admire what you do. And if you strive for something greater whether it’s publishing, selling your artwork, or getting music gigs at local coffee shops, there are plenty of doors out there waiting for you to open them.

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