Self criticism can kill any project you have been working on for sometime. Self criticism doesn’t take in the facts. It doesn’t care that you worked night after night on research or character development. It doesn’t even care you read and rewrote everything with a fine tooth comb. You even decided to allow a friend to read your work even though you felt stupid doing it. Self criticism doesn’t care, and neither does it’s best friend self doubt.
I have been friends with these two for far too long. Now our relationship has become more of a war between two countries. Just when I think I might be making some head way my worst enemy drops a nuclear bomb on my work.
Right now I feel as though I’m trying to push a boulder up a mountain side. Sometimes I think I have made some head way and other times I think I might have taken a few steps back.
I am not afraid of hard work or sweating or even having bloody fingers. (not that I have experienced that) What I am afraid of is never amounting to anything. I’m working towards a particular goal but I don’t feel any closer. I actually feel as though I am never going to get where I want to be or I’m going to have to leave my dreams behind because of life.
That’s right life! Life is ugly, messy and it gets in the way. No matter how hard I try to make things better things end up getting worse. Instead of getting angry or doing something I might get in trouble for I use that energy to write. Writing is the one thing that has kept me sane. It had been my constant, the friend that never turns her back on me. The friend who doesn’t move away or grow tired of me. I feel as though I can write out my deepest darkest fears and never fear them again. Yet. I can not get rid of self doubt or my own harsh self criticism. It doesn’t help at all when you enter a contest and while waiting all sorts of bad thoughts go through your mind.
I have learned the more you fester on it the more time you are wasting. Talent is something you are born with,and it is your job to nurture it. You have to be willing to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into something.
I try to remember this whenever I am putting myself down, it is harder to create something then it is to critique it.
A few weeks ago I was watching a television show about a girl who wants to be a writer and she wasn’t having much luck. To her horror a fellow class mate of her’s had written a book and was published. Having been invited to her friend’s book launching party this girl talked to former professors asking how her friend could have gotten published when most of her work not only sucked but it was better suited to start a fire. The professor simply told her that it maybe true the author doesn’t write very well, has poor sentence structure, etc. However, her characters had heart. They were lovable, relatable and real. That and her story had scandal and who doesn’t love that.
So that lead me to wonder. By no means am I a sells person, I couldn’t sell water to a thirsty man in the desert. However, I have been told and I believe it, I have talent. They only way I am going to succeed is if I push past my demons and be proud of my work. So easily said!