by Evan Nasse
Most people, in general, do not often measure themselves in terms of success. I have found that often times those that I know and those around me measure themselves in terms relative to the success of others, particularly their closest peers and those whom are already successful in fields they strive for or admire. When I finally began realizing my talent with words and writing, I constantly found myself researching the backgrounds of published authors and produced screenwriters, a habit I still occasionally find myself doing as I get lost in a wikipedean spiral of fascination and selfdoubt. This is entirely the wrong approach, and I will explain why.
I’ve discussed this matter before in one of my previous editorial essays titled, “Take That, “The Man“” wherein I lamented the time when I will have to show my writings to others. Looking back at the essay now and rereading it I can feel the channeled angst of college freshman with no spine or confidence in his capabilities, not just as a writer. Since that essay I have received several scholarships, and have even had some of my writing published on a few websites and even printed editions of our very own Turnagain Currents, of which I am currently co-editor. I even received a scholarship from the Alaska Writer’s Guild during a dinner conference where I received $1,000 in the form of a giant check! It sounds silly to be excited about a giant check, but it’s entirely different when you have actually received one.
None of these were accomplished through hero worshipping and misplaced self-doubting, because I had finally realized that yes, there are some authors who have been published younger than I, and many older authors with more publications, and even writers that are objectively worse that have earned awards, film adaptations, so on and so forth (Not to inflate my head, but come on, just about anyone could write something better than 50 Shades of Grey). However none of that is responsible for the successes I am achieving now, nor is it working against me, because I can promise each and every Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and many other successful
Stevens writers/directors/etc. have suffered from that same self-doubt until they achieved their dreams and ceased being afraid of failing themselves and comparing their works to others.
Sure, I may not have my work in the greater public eye yet, but I’m not going to let that stop me from aiming for my goals, and I sure as hell am not going to let fear control me anymore. Go out there and be somebody, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make it because you’re too old or not good enough or not lucky enough or whatever excuse you can just as easily giveyourself. Life is too short to worry about the what ifs and so whats of the world. I owe this positive attitude in large part to Alaska Pacific University allowing me to expand my skills and hone my craft, but most importantly, I was taught how to own my writing—what works and what doesn’t work. Criticism can be constructive, even if it is sometimes negative or destructive, so be proud of what it is you have put your efforts into, because you never know if that short story you threw in the garbage that your wife pulled out and told you to finish will be the next big blockbuster in addition to your first national best seller which gets your career off the ground—because that is what happened when Stephen King’s wife Tabitha fished the first three pages of Carrie out of the garbage.
About the Author: Evan Nasse is currently in his senior year at APU and is co-editor for the Turnagain Currents.