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Aspiring writer worries about being good enough

Dear Harlan: How do you know you’re good enough at something? I know it’s a vague question, but I want to be a writer. I have written fiction, but I’m afraid to let other people read it. My fear is that they will read it and think that I’m not cut out for this. Writing has always been my dream. I don’t tell a lot of people because I don’t want them to crush it. How can I share my work and know I’m good enough? I know I need to do it, but I don’t know when or how. Any suggestions?

— Good Enough

Dear Good Enough:  You ARE enough. Period. The minute you start asking people to tell you that you’re enough is the minute you’ll stop feeling enough. Enough comes from within. You are enough. But you can get better. We all can. That’s how it works. Create. Share. Offer. Listen. Learn. Just make sure you listen to the right people. The right people are the ones you respect, admire and have your best interests at heart. They’ll tell you the truth you need to hear. Find a teacher, writing group or editor. Don’t look for their approval. Look for honest feedback. Appreciate that the best writers and creators have been told they aren’t good enough. Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss are just a few who were rejected by editors. Share your gift with the world and give everyone permission to respond however people are going to respond.

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