A Writer's Affirmations
|Looking out to sea from our cruise ship|
I hate those times.
I had a mini-version of this happen over the last few weeks. I was frozen. I'd sent a manuscript off to an editor - a new-to-me-editor. I had some revising to do, a little tweaking, but she'd asked to see whatever I had and so I'd sent it (the editor knew/knows, by the way, that the MS isn't perfectly polished...I'm not just running around willy-nilly, playing fast-and-loose with my sanity. Or hers.). I found myself frozen. I knew what needed to be done to the first half of the book. I had ideas on how to improve the middle, how to make the big reveal at the end tidier. More dramatic. I had ideas.
But every time I opened the file for my WIP, the doubt crows started in on their chorus. "This isn't good enough. Stop, already. What if she doesn't like ____. What if you're tweaking it wrong? What if you ruin everything good about the book?" I hated that crow and yet he had me dead in his grasp. I opened the file. He started talking. I ran as fast and as far from the pages as I could.
The next day I opened the file, the crows started in. I caved. And then I did a kind of crazy thing. My family was out, so I had the house to myself - no one to hear the nervous breakdown I was about to have! - so I went into the bathroom with a sheet of paper and read to myself from a list of affirmations I've had on my desk for years. I read slowly and quietly. Mumbled, actually. I looked at myself in the mirror and rolled my eyes. Then I read a little louder. And the next time I tossed the paper into the hallway and just talked to myself. I took those affirmations, made them my own and relevant to the situation. I was still a little shaky but after that 10 minute affirmation pep talk I felt better.
I opened the WIP and the crows were quieter. Instead, it was as if there was an angel on my shoulder, reminding me of the affirmation. Reminding me of the good things I've found to write. The crow is quieter day by day and the angel is more boisterous. I haven't heard from the editor but I'm about 10 pages from The End and I like my book again. Yep, there is still a little beginning issue, a character arc that needs a polish. But the bones of the story is there and it's good.
I didn't write that last paragraph to brag, but to affirm. Because the negative self-talk is possibly more detrimental than anything else we creative type people do. It's something I've always struggled with because I was raised not to be egotistical and in my mind confidence and ego are inextricably linked. My affirmations are helping me break that connection. But that is another post.
* I am responsible for my own destiny.
* I am creative; I can paint vivid images with words.
* I believe in myself.
* My words flow easily and beautifully.
* I find inspiration everywhere.
* Rejection is part of the process; with it, I will find a way to success.
What's on your affirmations list?
Great post, Kristi!ReplyDelete
I don't have any Affirmations, but I'm going to borrow yours. I hate those days--or weeks--when that doubt bug climbs into my brain. A pep talk is definitely in order.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing Kristi and I'm glad you beat the crow and made your story shine.
Thanks, Christine! And borrow all you want. :)Delete
I didn't have a list, but I do now! Thank you for this wonderful post of inspiration, Kristina! I needed this, as my doubt bugs have been chatting very loudly lately :( I loved your post, especially the part where you tossed the paper in the hallway! Made me smile.ReplyDelete
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I'm so glad it helped you, Jennifer! Now go find a mirror and do your affirmation thang! :)Delete
I think the crows will always be there...but there is a way to control and tell them to shut up...
I like your affirmations, Kristi. I don't have any myself but I often have to keep an eye out for the doubt phantom which comes slithering from the cracks at the most inopportune times. I guess we all struggle with those moments. I've always gotten through by sheer stubbornness and plowing ahead. As writers we need to be like whack-a-moles. Remember the carnival game? Whack one down and it pops back up. Yep, that's my philosophy. As a writer, I have to be a whack-a-mole, LOL!ReplyDelete
LOVE that analogy, Mae, and I think I'll picture the angel on my shoulder doing just that. Kill the crows!! :)Delete
Kristina, thanks for sharing this. Knowing that we are not the only ones that suffer from self-doubt is helpful. I'm going to borrow this idea of daily affirmations from you!ReplyDelete
I really works for me, Constance! Hope it helps you, too!Delete
Kristi, fantastic post! How did you know that's exactly how I feel, too, as if I'm a fraud. Your comment about ego and confidence really hit home. Thanks.ReplyDelete
it's a struggle, always. I don't know *why* ego and confidence are so linked for me, because in my head I know the difference. But, I'm working on it. Thanks for visiting, Margery!Delete
Wonderful post--and thank you so much for posting it. I feel the same way--like I'm a fraud. I worry so much that the book I'm writing now is all crap. Some days I open my doc, skim through what I have and think it's good, then other days I do the same thing and think it's all junkReplyDelete
((hugs)) Brenda. Keep pushing, you'll get to that happy place, I just know it!Delete
Editing is the hardest thing to do, but it improves the book so much, its worth the pain, but its rather like child birth. You have to get beyond the actual birthing process and enjoy the beautiful baby in your arms before you decide its worth it.ReplyDelete
It is, Liza! Thanks for visiting!Delete
Good one! We all have those freeze up moments!ReplyDelete
...thanks for helping me through it!Delete
Brilliant post! I've said affirmations to myself for years but you've just reminded me that I haven't been doing it lately. I must start again.ReplyDelete
Mine are so very similar to yours! Thanks for the reminder.
You're welcome, Rowena! Affirmations are a permanent thing for me, now.Delete
Ohhh, I LOVE these aspirations! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.ReplyDelete
thanks for visiting, Sharon!Delete
You have FABULOUS affirmations and I am a true follower. GREAT ones. I always add one not exactly related to writing, gifted to me by a special friend:ReplyDelete
I am the light of a thousand angels.
I like that one!
Thanks so much for sharing Kristina. This is very inspiring... and topical for myself. I've got doubts that are driving me crazy and making it hard for me to just finish the darn thing.ReplyDelete
... now to go and write/tailor a few affirmations for myself.
That is a great list...think I'll steal it!ReplyDelete
This is SO what I needed today, Kristi. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart thank you. And I hope things turn around for you soon.ReplyDelete
Nice affirmations, Kristi -- methinks I shall have to steal 'em myself :). Good stuff from you! I love hope, and believe that with hope the dark times break up quicker. So when I'm doubting myself, I try to do something that re-engages my hope. Great post, thanks.ReplyDelete