“In any project the important factor is your belief. Without belief, there can be no successful outcome.”
In a TV interview, actor and director Clint Eastwood said something that I’ve never forgotten. When someone asked him how he managed to keep going during difficult projects, he said five simple words “I believe in my work.” He could easily have said, “I believe in myself” but he didn’t. Instead, he put the focus on his creative endeavor.
I believe in my work — I think that’s something we need to say to ourselves early and often in our writing projects. Maybe we even need to write it on an index card and stick it up where we can see it every day. When we say “I believe in my work,” here’s what I think we’re saying:
Our work has value: It’s important, it has meaning, it’s worthy of putting time and energy into — and doing it is its own reward. The focus is on getting the work done, not on what doing the work will get us — it’s on the process, not the outcome.
Our work has a life of its own: It exists beyond the bounds of our ego and our self-regard. It has an independent life and energy — and it will grow organically if we get ourselves out of the way and nourish it with our intention and attention.
Our work is where the work is: We can spend all kinds of time and energy wishing we had more talent or skill. We can spend all kinds of time and energy distracting ourselves from the page. We can spend all kinds of time and energy wishing we more successful or had more time to devote to our writing. But in the end, our work is where the work is: Writing isn’t about writing, writing is writing.
I Believe in My work — what a liberating concept! It frees us to get out of our selves and into the joyful, playful realm of creativity, where ideas have wings and anything is possible.
When we believe in our work, we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously — just whatever it is we’re striving to accomplish. We don’t have to rely on ourselves to know everything, we just have to trust that the work itself will teach us whatever it is we need to know. And Every day, we have a Fresh chance to put our belief to work as we write on!