The world of martial arts is demanding. Techniques, forms, mindset...all of these things come together to form the foundation of a martial artist. Pretty much like the world of writing. A writer must have good story lines, strong sentence structure, and the right mindset to pull it all together. I think that is where trusting one's instincts come into play.
I've trained and taught TaeKwonDo for ten years now. When I began that journey, I had no clue of what I was doing. I didn't know a crescent kick from a jump spin side kick and I sure didn't feel I could trust my instincts that I was on the right path to this new life I had chosen. It took me some time and a lot of hard work to get to a point where I am comfortable being a martial artist. I now trust my instincts where my teaching is concerned and I try to encourage and mold my students into a better martial artists every time they step onto my mats.
I think writing is a lot like training in the martial arts. Everyone has to be that "white belt". That beginner writer just starting out with an idea...a vision of creating something new...if they only knew what they were doing. It's hard to trust one's instincts when you are a beginner writer and unsure of protocol regarding the written word.
That's where hard work and constant practice comes in. New writers are eager to learn everything there is to know about this world they've stepped into and if they are smart, they will choose strong teachers to show them the way. With each lesson learned in developing their own writing style, that new writer will start to trust their own instincts about what is right for them on that path they chose for themselves.
Although I have written for over 30 years, I consider myself a "new" writer. One who is committed to learning as much as I can about the "techniques" of being a good writer, cultivating a pool of strong story ideas, and greeting each day with the right mindset to mold that nugget into a polished, finished product. But while I'm doing all that, I think what I will work on the most, is learning to trust my "writer's instincts" of what is right for me. Because when the day is over and I look back on what I have written, I want to be proud of my work. I want it to say a little bit about the person I am and to show the world that I learned to trust my instincts as a writer.
What about you? Are you letting go of the self-doubt and learning to trust your own instincts about the writer you were meant to be?