How to Battle Insecurity and Continue Writing
On April 12th, 2016, I was sitting at my teacher desk with hands over my eyes, wondering why I couldn’t grasp happiness. A few seconds later I moved my laptop cursor and opened a blank document. As the cursor flickered black and white, I began to type. Words poured from my heart. Every sentence was a weapon. Every paragraph was an explosion.
20 pages later, I stopped. I couldn’t believe how much I just wrote and how amazing I felt. Writing about education felt right.
The next day, I walked into class and started teaching, and I continued teaching. Then, I taught some more — which brings us to today. Those 20 pages are still there. I love writing about how to be an amazing teacher and kill it in the classroom, but my fear of perfection stopped my momentum. I would read other books and judge my own writing, saying to myself, “I can’t write like that.” I literally sabotaged myself into failure.
The only reason I am writing right now is because I stopped caring about perfection. To me, writing is the most personal, open, and vulnerable part of myself. When someone reads what I wrote, it scares me. They will see me for who I really am behind my clothes and skin, deep down in my dark place. I didn’t know if I was ready for that yet.
The only way I began writing again was to stop caring if what I wrote was good or if the story was creative or if the plot was exciting or if the chapters were motivating or if the diction fit the tone or if anyone even cared what I had to say. Perfection had hindered me for too long.
These words are my rebellion. They are a siren against myself and my own insecurities. These words are emancipating my mind and opening a door to a world I never knew.
Once I won the conflict with perfection, I began researching websites to write on. I found Medium. I wrote my first article about teaching on June 6th and since then I have had 170 views combined on stories I’ve written. I am both exuberant and anxious about those views, but nevertheless I am blessed to have won my battle with perfection. I’ve had typos, misspellings, incorrect grammar and incorrect title capitalization, but I’m writing — and it feels amazing.
When writing, perfection is the antagonist and your words are the hero. For your words to overcome this enormous enemy, you must stop stopping, and just write. Let it flow swiftly and eloquently from your fingers and let the words win.
This chapter of my life is about not stopping and not letting perfection hold me back. Instead of eloquently writing about the abstract idea of perfection and giving a motivational speech, I chose to use my own experience battling perfection to hopefully inspire you a little.
Forget perfection and stop letting other people’s insecurities empower your own.
You are a king. What you create is golden. If 10 people or 100,000 people read it, it’s a masterpiece.
If you enjoyed this piece, please hit the ♡ button so I can get the word out to more and more people! Your time is everything. Thank you for reading!
Michael Vaughan is an educator and writer in Los Angeles, CA. As a life long writer, he is only now beginning to follow his purpose. Join the journey with him. Michael writes on Instragram as DopeWord, Twitter @Dope_Word and you can find his blog here.