Words of Wisdom #1 – Allen Ginsberg

"To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard." - Allen Ginsberg

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the first post of my “Words of Wisdom” feature. Almost everyone enjoys quotes and finds a few that hit home. Some of us even share quotes daily…but we never tell people why they make us feel the way they do. That is why I am doing this feature. I hope you love it and can give me some of your favorites in the comments, too!

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Today’s quote by Allen Ginsberg hits me in several facets of not only writing, but also my personal growth. As an adult child of an alcoholic and someone who struggles with perfectionist tendencies (thanks, depression and anxiety), this is my greatest challenge when writing. I am better about not thinking I am the worst like I used to; however, I get in these fogs where I care too much what readers may think about my writing style and choices.

I have gotten stuck in the same mentality in everything I do since the age of 12 (at least that’s when I remember it starting). If I decide to hone a skill, I must be as amazing as the people whom I draw inspiration from. Not being as amazing as Eddie Van Halen while learning guitar contributed to me giving it up completely. (It’s counterproductive, I know, since practice makes you better…my head is just a strange place.) When it comes to writing, I get this feeling that I have big shoes to follow in. I have a desire to be as successful and as great a writer as my favorite authors (namely Anne Rice and Stephen King), but I personalize it and feel like a failure if I do not get “anywhere close” to their skill level in language/diction or storytelling.

What I struggle to tell myself is I am not Anne Rice or Stephen King; I am me! And being myself with my own style is just fine. The same thing goes to all of you.

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