“Don’t worry about not doing “it” perfectly right now. It’s ok, just keep at it, you will soon settle in it and then you’ll be glad you didn’t give up.”
— TemitOpe Ibrahim
Wise Words From A Wise Man
A wise man once told me that he thought my writing was good. Yet, he felt like something was missing. Some truths, some raw emotion, passion, and maybe some brutal honesty.
My short stories had good messages, especially when I’d talk about my family and personal experiences — but something was missing. He told me to stop pulling punches. Be more hard-hitting. Be the real Brian Kurian.
That wise man’s name is Brian Brewington and his honest constructive criticism is one of the many reasons why I respect him so much. Brian reminded me of a valuable lesson. You see guys, most people will read your writing (especially if they are your friends and family) and tell you that your writing is good. But they won’t give you honest feedback.
If there are things they don’t like about your writing, chances are they won’t tell you. It’s not because they don’t care about you or your success. No, it’s because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
For the most part, people hate confrontation. Hence, they’ll tell you that you’re doing an excellent job. Shortly after I had my conversation with Brian a few weeks ago, I wrote this raw and personal piece. I was fortunate enough to have it curated on Medium in the Writing section. I kept it honest. Brutally honest. I infused my raw emotion and passion into that piece because that’s the kind of person I am anyways. Emotional. Passionate. Intense. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t pull any punches. I’m a blunt dude.
But why did so many of my previous articles lack this same sort of passion and raw intensity?
Maybe I Was Afraid Of Scaring People Off
After looking over some of my old writing, I realized that subconsciously, I was worried about scaring some potential readers off. A lot of folks can be intimidated by intense people.
Not everyone wants to read overly personal, emotional stories. So, maybe that’s why I watered stuff down a little bit. I didn’t want to startle anyone or scare anyone off.
But here’s what I’ve learned. I don’t need everybody to read my writing. I repeat, I DON’T NEED EVERYONE TO READ MY WRITING. I know some people won’t be able to relate to my experiences. That’s okay. They’re MY experiences. They are unique to me.
You can’t write to please everyone. Just like you can’t possibly expect to make every single person out there happy every time you make a decision.
I won’t die if someone hates one of my stories or poems. Plenty of people have not been a big fan of my writing already. I’ve received more than a few negative comments on some of my stories. I’m sure the hate will continue.
The world isn’t going to end if someone chooses not to read one of my stories. Everything will be ok. I’ll keep writing anyway. That’s what writers do. They write, baby. But writers also stay true to themselves, regardless, of what other people think.
I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.
— Kurt Cobain
Your Writing Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect
In the early days of my writing career, I also struggled with wanting to make my writing “perfect”. The title had to be just right. The formatting perfect. I’d overanalyze my word choice and do countless edits. Every article had to be a masterpiece. I shudder when I think about it all.
I probably could have produced two to three times as much content if I wouldn’t have been such a perfectionist. As time went on, I focused on the overall quality of my message and not necessarily on making everything perfect.
Here’s what ended up happening…
I noticed a dramatic jump in people reading and enjoying my work. More and more people started to interact with me and feeling a connection with me and my writing. People respected my message. They didn’t care if I missed a comma or misspelled a word now and then.
So stop trying to be perfect. We’re human beings, not machines. We won’t ever be flawless. That’s what makes us unique and special. Our little quirks and weird hangups.
Celebrate your awkwardness! Share the bullshit you deal with on a daily basis. Tell your readers about the things that bother you. Tell your readers about your drunk uncle or your overprotective father. Share your madness with anyone willing to listen.
Share your story — imperfections and all.
Written by Brian Kurian, All Rights Reserved 2019