Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to be kind...to 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 do...as only I can.
Join The Write Routine tomorrow, Tuesday November 27th as we continue "The Creative Habit" with Chapter 2: Rituals of Preparation.