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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f

Dear Writer

Dear You,

Yes, I'm talking to you: the hopeful writer. You are so brave to be forging new ideas and thoughts. And yet you're cowering behind your computer screen, afraid to write one word lest it be imperfect.

You think your novel's not good enough?

Think again.

Being a writer is a hard and noble calling. Writing a novel, much less a short story, is not easy.

And you, my friend, have decided to undertake such a heavy task. (Am I boosting your ego yet?)

Yet your road is plagued with self-doubt. My novel isn't good enough. I'm not good enough. These words? Cliche. I am not a writer.

Oh, but you are a writer. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here.

Listen: everyone's first draft stinks. That's just the way it is. Every published novel goes through tons of editing before it is made viewable to the public eye. You can't write a novel the first time around and expect it to be perfect.

In fact, your novel won't even be perfect by the third, fourth, or fifth draft. (If you get that far, I applaud you. I'm sure this day is coming for us, novelists. Prepare yourselves.) I saw Bryan Davis speak once, and he said that your story is never completely finished. You will never have a perfect novel, so why try?

But you can do your best. Do your best to pour every ink-stained word and every drop of sweat into your manuscript. Write the story that you've been called to write. Because I know it, dear writer: you have a story.  And it needs to be told.

After all, if you don't tell it, who will?


Oh, and P.S. - this letter was written to Me as much as it was written to You. ;)


Update from the NaNo battlefront: Well, I have a villain. Two, in fact. One of them needs a name, though. If you have any names that sound dastardly, cunning, and villainous, leave them in a comment.

I'm also plodding along on my outline, and I'm on Chapter 17. Three days, people. Three days.


  1. Thank you. Truly.

    And cheers for a villain! *cheers* I'm sorry, I'm a wee bit behind the times, what kind of name are you looking for? (Is your NaNo fantasy, contemp, historical? Sorry- I know I should already know this! :P)

  2. Ooh!! Go to this site

    it's really good, and if the villain is a girl you should look under "Old Latin Place Names" or something along those lines.


  3. Thanks for the reminder, Sky. I'm a perfectionist too, so it's hard for me to realize that it's NOT going to be perfect--ever.

    But it can be the best I can make it.


  4. Hey! Its Marissa from Feathers and Dust.
    Due to the fact the i was having yet another issue with blogger... again. I had to redo my whole blog. Unfortunately, that means you are no longer a follower. Sorry about that! If you still wish to follow- just head over to:
    to re-follow. :)
    -Your fellow blogger,


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