Monday, November 26, 2012

To Thine Self Be...Kind

As I prepared for today's post about Chapter 2 in "The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life" by Twyla Tharp, I felt the need to pause and address a few other things.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to be us. 

Although Chapter 2 is filled with "you shoulds" about living the creative life, the truth is that not everything works for everyone.  And as I read it I started to feel a little overwhelmed at all that I was "doing wrong".  The last thing I want is for YOU to feel the same way.

Of course, there is a certain amount of striving and determination that is need to truly see our goals through.  But I want you to think for a moment.  If you were GUARANTEED that your end goal was going to happen, wouldn't you ease up a tad?  Wouldn't you be a little more forgiving about missteps and taking time to just breathe?

This time of year is so very hectic.  In fact, the month of November is chock full of so many challenges (literally) for writers.  There's NaNoWriMo for those novelists trying to complete an entire first draft in one month.  There's 12x12 for picture book writers who need to complete a mansucript a month for the entire year.  There's PiBoIdMo in which writers create 30 picture book ideas.  Its a tough month.

Add to that the impending holiday stress, end of the year stress, illnesses, day jobs, family obligations, etc.  Oy, November!

So, instead of adding to the stress with my post today, I wanted to kick off the week with an oath to be gentler to yourself.  I know I need a reminder.

It's ok to not be all things to all people and to once in awhile fall short.

Visualize your end goal.  I bet its a vivid visualization because you have spent so much time thinking about it.  Well, right now tell yourself that it WILL happen.  You have the drive and the determination.  Now relax.  Breathe.

Does it help? I know it does for me.  It will happen, so today I just need to make a little step.  No need to get frustrated.  No need to feel overwhelmed or not good enough.

Be gentle.  Be kind.  Believe.

I, _________________, do solemnly swear to be kind to myself.
I vow to treat my creative self gently and with love.
I choose to value my non-writer life, knowing that the experiences that I have in other areas help make me a well-rounded individual and might, indeed, spark a story somewhere down the road.  So, I will not despise or get frustrated with other commitments but choose to be present and observant instead.
I will take time daily to focus on what I have done and not what I haven't. 
I will find ways to relish the process and have fun along the way.  Knowing that each word I write is a gift to be savored. 
I will fight hard to abolish the spirit of not doing enough! 
I will allow myself seasons to relax and not write, even if that means I am not fulfilling an online challenge or a submission to my critique group.
I relinquish the clock that seems to be ticking and telling me that I am moving too slowly.
I will surround myself with individuals and community who feed my creative spirit. 
I will stop comparing my journey to the journey of others.  I will celebrate other's accomplishments knowing that my accomplishments will be unique to me and me alone.
I will stop judging my writing pursuits with harshness, instead looking at what can be learned along the way.
I acknowledge that not every single piece of "writerly advice" fits my particular situation and might not work for me. Therefore, there is no need to wear it all...just the bits that fit.
I will ease up on the trying and just only I can. 

Join The Write Routine tomorrow, Tuesday November 27th as we continue "The Creative Habit" with Chapter 2: Rituals of Preparation.


  1. I really like your last line Marcie. I just wrote a post last night about what to do the day after a challenge? Well, you sign up for another challenge, right, 12x in 2013. I like challenges that keep me motivated not stressed out. I used to work in journalism and thrived on deadlines. Challenges give me a little of this back. Have a great week and holiday season. I have final projects due in the mix. More fun.

  2. Amen! A timely post as we careen towards even more holidays!

  3. True! I know I need to be nicer to myself.

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  5. Beautiful Marcie! This just inspired me for another PiBoIdMo : )

  6. Wonderful reminder, Marcie. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey, whether or not we reach the goal, and that's a very difficult thing to learn.

  7. Life is a precious gift and so are we. Marcie, this is a great reminder to keep oursleves balanced. Not always easy, but necessary. ;~D

  8. I am still getting over the month of October which was a terrible blow to me. Being nicer to myself this season is something I already vowed to do. To have this validated by your post is amazing. We must be on the same brain wave. Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. I like to breathe. Always good advice.

  10. I took the oath. Thanks for the reminder. I just wrote a blog post about celebrating the silence and taking a breath.