As writers, we often make mistakes that compromise the faith we have in our own abilities. As artists we do this and make ourselves feel bad about ourselves in the process.
You could work on a piece for years and end up hating it. If that happens, you could easily end up hating yourself. This is both a part of the creative process and the one thing that could destroy the creative process.
Don’t let it.
You’re only human. You’re flawed and you make mistakes. Yes, you often play at god when you’re crafting worlds and orchestrating major events in your novel, but you’re still just a flawed person.
Making mistakes is almost inevitable. Trying to avoid them would be ludicrous and entirely futile. The only thing you can avoid is making yourself feel awful because of it.
Just because John from down the street didn’t make the same mistake as you did on his novel doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of failure and inadequacy. He probably screwed up on something you simply breezed through. Don’t compare yourself to anyone.
Compare yourself only to yourself and nobody else.
And if John from down the street thinks you’re a talentless chump who doesn’t deserve a drop of success, then let him. Who cares what he thinks anyway? Let him waste his time ranting about you while you spend your time actually getting some writing done.
What others think of you doesn’t matter. What you think of yourself is all that’s important.
And sure, maybe John still gets more done than you. Maybe he gets five thousand words done on a slow day.
Even if you only get one word down in a day, you’re still good. Any progress, no matter how small, is still progress. If you only do 0.000001%, you’re still far better than doing absolute 0%. Any progress is progress; don’t let anyone take that away from you.
You need to treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend in the whole world. Would you berate your friend if they just got ten words down that day instead of a hundred? Would you sneer at them if they couldn’t manage to finish the chapter this week?
Of course not.
So why do you do it to yourself? Stop treating yourself like your own worst enemy, and start treating yourself like your own best friend.
And if at the end of it, you’re still not successful, then don’t sweat it.
Just because you didn’t become famous or get published doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. If you’re happy and doing what you love, what difference does it make?
Happiness always trumps success. You can’t always choose both, but if you could, I recommend the option that brings a smile to your face and doesn’t rely on the approval (and wallets) of others.
Stay happy. Keep smiling. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep doing what you love. Ignore John and his crappy attitude.
Be kind to yourself.
Are you usually kind to yourself?
Let me know in the comments!
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