Patricia, you’re just not good enough”
Back in 2015, I was so frustrated with my writing ability.
When I was 18, Journalism was a breeze. It’s like words come out of my head as if I was an article churning machine.
When I was 11, I wanted Summit Media. I dreamed about Kzone. I craved for Candy. Fast forward to my 25-year-old self, I was too far from my childhood dream.
My favorite quote says “you can be whatever you want to be, if you set your mind to it, it will happen.”
Have I set my mind hard enough? Was I pushing myself good enough? I was not. I had to stop lying to myself. I got so comfortable with “I am a natural born writer” that I halted on improving my skill. I grew tired of it. I grew tired of myself.
How old was I? And where am I now?
Nowhere. I promised myself that I would be a writer when I grow up but did nothing in alignment to that dream. The bad thing was, I did not translate that “dream” into a goal, that even if it was in my head and in my heart, my hands did not do anything at all. I thought “I have time”. But time is treacherous. Yesterday you are a kid; today, you are where you are.
Then I mused, if I want this, why don’t I start on what I have? I have myself, a tablet, and an Internet connection. So, I read a lot of articles on writing and blogging, I trained online and then I set up my WordPress and started writing short news.
I found it hard. I struggled. I couldn’t stop smiling in disappointment that someone who was editor-in-chief of three papers would be terrible again. Then I hated myself. But then I realized maybe I was just getting “rusty”. So, I continued writing until I get the hang of it again. And when I found my motivation, I.just.couldn’t.stop.
After a few weeks of “marketing myself”, doing projects for free, finally, I got a real paying gig.
My first client loved what I did that high ratings and a lot of projects started pouring in for me! I was back on track! I believed that if it continued to be that way, I could eventually penetrate the industry!
And then there were two instances when I was doubted by two persons. People I barely knew. They asked me to write for them and they ill-reviewed the pieces.
They said that I cannot write because my English is broken, my verbiage is wrong, I misspell a lot of words, and that I was not “good enough”. Ultimately, they said that “I cannot work with this quality, I won’t refer you to anyone.”
I was like, “If you don’t like my articles, fine.”
I felt like I wanted to faint at that moment but then I said, if others commended me, there would still be more out there that would need me.
But I started training online again. I felt bad that I needed to do something about it. I needed to fix things.
I told one of my friends about it as I couldn’t even sleep. She laughed and said that “Adik, it’s normal.” Then I smiled and laughed with her as I remembered our professors in college. “It’s a dog eats dog society” they said. They were right.
Few days after, I wrote four long articles for different websites.
These articles were at least 2000 words and entailed long research. Guess what? I got commended each time that I was even given a raise! After a series of projects, I was recruited to two separate teams of writers whose head offices are based overseas.
I learned a lot on a lot of things like not focusing on two bad words when I have 15 good others. I became accepting and happy of my failures because that proved to me that I was trying to improve myself. And life is not about what you are now, life is about what you could still become.
I thought, if I stopped when I got hurt, I wouldn’t have been given a bigger opportunity.
I was criticized.
I was told that my talent was of low quality.
“I was not good enough.”
That was then. Now, I am Associate Editor of a legit online news site based in Canada. And still dabbles on a lot of freelance writing on the side.
Start with what you have and keep going. It is indeed hard in the beginning. It is never gonna be easy but it’s so worth it.