Lately, people have been telling me not to be so hard on myself. Even people online have been telling me the same thing.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know I’m hard on myself about writing. When I was on the train today, I started thinking about this.
If you have a goal, especially one you are passionate about, then you may be prone to toxic thoughts. What are toxic thoughts? Well, thoughts about self-doubt are negative thoughts.
Many of you have told me you’re passed feeling self-doubt about your writing. Maybe that’s because you are older than me and have more experience, I don’t know. However, I do know negative thoughts are real, and every writer has them. If you are hard on yourself to be a great writer, then stop, now! Being overly critical of yourself isn’t a solution, and it’s more detrimental than helpful. How do I know? Because that’s me – that’s my personality in a nutshell. When I am passionate about something, I try to be the best I can.
However, trying to be the best has led me to some dark places. For example:
- In despair, I have removed my stories
- I’ve deleted manuscripts
- I’ve lost fellow writer friends from jealousy
- I’ve lost readers because I’m wishy-washy with my stories
In some ways, it’s interesting. I never tried to be well-known on WordPress, and I just wrote posts for my own enjoyment. However, for my writing, I write to find an audience. Do you see where I am getting at here? Write because you enjoy it.
I know it’s hard, trust me. In today’s world of social media – Wattpad, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and various other websites, it’s hard not to feel competitive. It seems everywhere we go online, it’s a contest.
Who has the best story?
Who writes the best?
Who is more likely to get published?
The world is shifting (the online world anyway) – it doesn’t really seem about quality as it does quantity. The more you post, the more attention you get. The more stories you write, the more readers will find you. If you disagree with me, then please feel free to comment.
The point of this post is – please, don’t be so hard on yourself. There is only so much time in the day to write, to live, to work, to study, and to give social media your attention.
Even Stephen King said:
“There have been times when for me the act of writing has been a little act of faith, a spit in the eye of despair.”
King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft (p. 249). Scribner. Kindle Edition.
I feel that way, a lot! And re-reading Stephen King’s book on writing helped me to feel better. Remember, we all want to succeed; I know I do, but we need to take a step back, exhale, and say, “I won’t be hard on myself.”
P.S. I really need to start taking my own advice 😛