While reading a magazine article recently, I came across this comment by Leo Buscaglia, "The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be." All I could think about is how very true that is. How much of life is wasted trying to be what other people want you to be? I know I spent years trying to be what my mother wanted me to be. And, I could apply that to husbands and a few friends as well. However, I never succeeded. I was seeking affirmation that would never come. I was trying to be someone I wasn't and that led to failure and unhappiness.
It took a number of years for me to come full circle, to accept myself the way I am and not feel badly about it. I tend to be a loner. I can honestly say I don't get lonely. I have no idea what that is like. I don't know if it is the writer in me or what, but I love my time alone. It is when I get to write, read and watch my favorite movies. I am with people all day and I have always worked with the public, so when I come home, I like a quiet house, a silent phone and my own company. I am totally selfish, more so now than ever before. I have spoiled myself rotten and I'm very happy. Of course, there are many people who would hate my lifestyle, which is fine with me because I would hate theirs.
It is my belief that life is too short and time too precious to squander by not being true to yourself.
I think the same should apply to writing as well. Be yourself when you write. Love your stories and feel confident about them. Remember, the more you try to please other people, especially other writers, the more you will have to struggle. The more faith you put in their opinion, the less your own opinion will mean to you. Without confidence and acceptance of yourself as well as your work, you will never accomplish anything. I'm going to close with a great quote by Aristotle on how to avoid criticism:
"Criticism is something you can avoid easily--by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing."