I discovered this post from like six months ago sitting in my drafts folder, and you know what? I’m glad it didn’t get published back then, because if it had, I couldn’t rediscover it now, when I need this lesson I learned, loved, and promptly forgot. Here’s to being awesome!
I’ve been outlining outlining outlining my brains out. I’m fitting together the puzzle pieces of a from-scratch five-book series and hashing out details. I’m balancing age-appropriateness with excitement with side plots with running themes with everything else that comes with a book–times five.
I hit a point where I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to figure it out. And I got really annoyed at myself. I have two hours a day where I can work uninterrupted, and I can’t waste that time. I needed to get that plotting done. I had to suck the marrow of every minute while my little girl was sleeping. Why couldn’t I focus and get it done?!
Then this post leaped out of the back of my brain, and I thought, It’s okay. You can’t do this–YET. You’re still awesome.
And instead of sitting there steaming about how I wasn’t getting enough done on what I was supposed to be working on, I changed gears and worked on something else.
And suddenly I thought, How much time do I waste beating myself up? How is that even remotely productive? Why do I have to think I’m a terrible person every time I’m not perfect?
As writers, it’s so easy for us to look at something we’ve written that maybe isn’t the best, cleanest, most beautiful writing, and think, I don’t deserve to call myself a writer. We all do it from time to time. I’m pretty sure insecurity comes with the profession. Heck, who am I kidding? Insecurity comes with your humanity.
But I have a challenge for you. Next time you look at your writing, or your schoolwork or job or whatever it is you do, and you think it’s not good enough–tell yourself you’re awesome, and end the conversation. Decide to spend your time moving forward instead of bemoaning what’s behind you. I get the feeling we’d all be more productive and–more importantly–a lot happier that way.