I remember when writing was pure joy. I was nine. I wrote poems. They were short. They were about small things that captivated me. I thought they were lovely. I still think they’re lovely.

I got older. A niggling question entered my brain: was any of it good? Writing was still a joy. But that joy was rarely unaccompanied by its obnoxious companion: self-doubt.

As I started writing more “seriously,” I also began taking myself too seriously. Eventually, I remembered that this was supposed to fun.

Good writing is a joy to read. That’s doesn’t mean that it isn’t serious in topic or tone, of course. But, the writer’s joy in the written word is there on the page, not hidden behind self-consciousness.

A good writer tells the reader, “Come with me. I have something to show you.” Without confidence, who will want to follow me?

I’m taking a page from nine-year-old me. I’m remembering that this was supposed to be fun and letting the words fall where they may.

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