Whenever I hit the upload button on my Instagram to upload my flash fiction, a tremendous feeling of embarrassment washed all over me. Showing the world my writing is equal to being naked in the middle of the road. Not that I have ever done that; that’s how I imagine it would feel to be clothe-less in public.
The idea of sharing my works is terrifying. It exposes the part that I don’t like to share — that I am still a beginner, and that what I write is probably trashy
With the world full of prodigies, who am I sharing these craps with the world? I am also afraid in case many people do read it.
My self-esteem could not handle the slightest probability of being mocked by a hater — even though I am a nobody and no one knows me.
I wish I could write better;
Should I just delete it?
Those thoughts often came to my mind. I wish I was a genius, so I don’t have to start as an idiot and stay at this “idiot who has just started” phase for not that long.
But, that kind of thinking is stupid.
Before the social media era, we often see successful people around as and thinking,
“Ah, he was born with it.”
“She is good at sport because it is run in the family.”
But now, in this era of oversharing on social media, we get to see parts that we did not see from those genius people before. The part that was hidden and what made them titled as a genius.
It is the “Idiot who has just started” phase that we are trying so hard to hide.
An easy example of this would be comparing the quality of the video that your favorite Youtuber made when they were just started vs now. Mine is Ali Abdaal. Let’s compare his video when he was just started:
And this is his recent video:
From his channel, we can witness his growth from the “I-don’t-know-anything-about-video-production-so-here-I-am-recording-on-the-bed,” phase to where he is now.
To graduate from an absolute beginner to the next level, you need to produce more work. People love to scream the “Quality over quantity” jargon, but the thing is, those who say this are people who already master the skill. To them, producing more works with lesser quality will do more harm than good.
As a beginner, you’d want to produce as many works as possible. Even if it is bad, even when it doesn’t meet your standard. Accept it; your first 100 works (be it writing or videos) are going to suck.
Be an amateur. Being an amateur means that you are free to make mistakes — as Austin Kleon beautifully said in his book “Show Your Work”:
“We’re all terrified of being revealed as amateurs, but in fact today it is the amateur — the enthusiast who pursues her work in the spirit of love (in French, the word means “lover”) regardless, of the potential for fame, money, or career — who often has the advantage over the professional. Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results.”
It is okay to feel ashamed of the quality of your own work. I kid you not, I often feel physical discomfort when I hit the share button. My stomach would churn as if I were experiencing food poisoning. I can also feel an unexplainable sensation on my skin.
But still, I gotta do the work. I have to beat my own doubt and once again, share my crappy writing.
I believe I will get better as time goes on. And you will too.
So, don’t hit the delete button, please.