Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

By Darke Conteur

Ever had that dream where you're late for your exam and you jump out of bed, run to school, only to arrive within the last few minutes? Then the bell goes off and everyone looks back at you. It's then, you look down and realize you forgot to get dressed and you're butt naked?

Yeah, we've all had that dream. It alerts us to something in our lives that we're stressing on. Most of the time it's something small, but even the smallest of problems can feel like a great weight on our shoulders.

Writing comes with its fair share of anxiety. From the moment we decide to write that novel, we're bombarded with self-doubt about or skill, the story, or how it will be received. Sometimes before we've written the first word! It's human nature to have these doubts, but it's how we deal with them that's the real test. Every writer has had moments when they feel their world has crashed down around them. Something's gone wrong, and it feels like your career has ended before it's begun. Before you throw in the towel and declare you passion dead, take a deep breath. It may not be as bad as you think.

We strive so hard to put out a perfect product, and when we see a flaw in our work—no matter how small—we take it as a black mark on our accomplishments, but is it really? Some problems can be fixed, so swallow your embarrassment and fix them. Having a 'do-over' is nothing to be ashamed about. People will not think any less of you. Just the opposite. Seeing the mistakes and correcting them means you take pride in your work, and there's nothing wrong with that. Other things may be out of your control, leaving you to do nothing more but chalk them up as a life-lesson and move on. You've done your best and that's what matters.

Sweating the small stuff only causes embarrassing underarm stains and wrinkles.


Mindy McGinnis said...

My mom taught me how to knit. She said once I knew how to spot my own mistakes, and fix them, I was actually a knitter.

I think it's true in writing as well.

Terri-Lynne said...

I live out loud, as they say. It's always been a lot less embarrassing to acknowledge my own bloopers than to hope no one notices. :)

Brittany Roshelle said...

So true. I think self-doubt is by far the hardest thing to overcome when writing a novel...that is next to editing when its over!! Thanks for the great article!

Brittany Roshelle

The Write Stuff

Matt Sinclair said...

But if we're actually naked, those underarm stains become much less problematic. ;-)

Jemi Fraser said...

You crack me up, Matt! :)

Self-doubt is a huge issue ... for me at least. I tend to over analyze pretty much everything. I'm getting better at overcoming it, but I'm not the quickest learner in this area!