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Sticking Your Neck Out

A fellow emailed me last week and asked how to build confidence as a writer. He’d read 10 Things You Need to Know About Writing for Reader’s Digest and wants to write for that magazine, but feels overwhelmed with information. 

I shared a few ideas in The First Step to Gaining Confidence as a New Freelance Writer.

Of all tips I offered, my favourite was this question:

What do you have to lose?

When we try something new—especially in front of other people—we might get criticized or rejected.

Perhaps even worse than rejection is indifference.

I get it! Do you know how many videos, blog posts, newsletters and article ideas I’ve created? Thousands. Do you know how many were ignored? Thousands.

Indifference and rejection hurt because we think it means they’re right. We think it means we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not talented enough. We’re unworthy. We don’t belong.

But what if they’re wrong, {name}? What if their opinion doesn’t change or even affect our identity? 

Here’s something even better than the “right or wrong” question: 

What if we don’t mind what they think?

I keep sticking my neck out—most recently in my video 5 Ways to Stay Mentally & Emotionally Strong When You Get Horrible Health News — because I mind what I think. I know what my business is.

How I Stay Strong & Positive When I Get Horrible Health News

It’s none of my business if people watch my videos, read my blog posts or accept my ideas. My business is why I create, how I feel when I’m doing it, and what it’s like to look back on what I’ve done. 

If you want to try something new but lack confidence, start dealing with your fear of the results.

Your idea might be ignored, your project might fail, your proposal might get rejected. That’s none of your business. 

Your business is to stick your neck out if you feel compelled. Your business is to practice not minding what people think.

Your business is to mind what you think and believe—based on your own inner knowing. Then you’ll find the freedom you need to create stuff you love. 

And then it’s not even “sticking your neck out.” It’s just you living your life with peace and joy. 

With a wink and a wave,



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4 thoughts on “Sticking Your Neck Out”

  1. Dear Laurie~
    As a writer & artist, this really resonated. I could re-paper my house with rejection slips…
    Thinking of and praying for you re: your health.
    Love all your wise and loving words. Thank you.
    Lots of love,
    Vivi xxxx

    1. I bet I have more rejection slips than you, Vivi! 🙂 They sure are easy to accumulate, aren’t they? I’ve actually heard of writing groups who have contests to see who receives the most rejections in a month. I love this idea; more rejections mean the writer is actually sending their work out. And every rejection brings us one step closer to getting published.

      Happy writing and art-making,

      1. Pamela Marie Greenway

        Im 64, and have applied for jobs in Hemet and believe me, I’m rejected as well! I’m experienced with great PAST retail experience but they don’t want that it seems. But God has a purpose for those who trust Him. I’m trying to trust Him. I’m with you both. Count me in rejected too love Pamela.