Thanks for stopping by today! Today’s post stems from some very needed words of encouragement from a writerly friend of mine. I had been so full of self-doubt that it took a lot of convincing that I had every right to be excited and happy about my work. Because of that rather lengthy pep talk, see below:
Which brings me to the topic at hand. Many of us are content to be holed away in our quiet spaces, receiving constant critique and criticism. We thrive on it, because we know that is among all of the criticism that we find those gems; advice and ways to hone our craft, making it shine even brighter than before.
That’s what we all want. We want our work to be as good as we can make it.
All artists live in a world where perfection is never achieved. It cannot ever be attained, because there is always more to learn. As a music educator, I view the study of music as an evolving, living thing. It is the same with writing. We learn from the masters. We take what those who have come before us contributed to the craft, and somehow make it our own, leaving behind a legacy to be built upon by others.
But in pursuit of all this, and amid the constant critique and criticism, it can sometimes be hard for the writer to find the little victories to celebrate; our own little gems. But between all of the edits and drafts of our work, we go through lots of little successes. A turn of phrase that somehow makes a page sparkle. The use of a word that perfectly captures the moment in a character’s world. The courage to remove a thousand words of unnecessary “stuff” from a chapter. The courage to sit down and map out something new. It feels so good!
I think it might be in my genes, but here is a trap I fall into: self-doubt. I can say that with time, I have grown enough as a writer that I can often push those nasty little feelings aside, but it isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes my writer friends, who know exactly what I am going through, to encourage me to see past the doubt to the glimmer of victory in my work. I try to do the same for them, whenever possible. The writing life is hard, but also very fulfilling. We cannot do it alone.
Today, I challenge you to have the courage to celebrate those little writing victories. Seek them out, if you have to! You are allowed. Here’s one: We are so in tune with the action of revision, that we don’t see revision as its own “hurrah”! Now that I think about it, writers have a ton of things we could celebrate every day.
How do you spot personal victories as a writer? Please share your victories here in the comments. Large or small, I want to hear about them!