"The time between when you are no longer a beginner but you are not yet in the business is the hardest ... and one of the biggest frustrations is: no one can tell you how long this phase will last."
I feel like one of these people.
(because that quote reads out to me like a freaky-accurate fortune cookie)
(and because I want to scream something like YES! or AMEN! or YOU SAID IT SISTER!...only she's not my sister at all....soooo *crickets churping* <-- potential awkward moment)
something changed. I'd highly recommend the post that goes along with it to every single writer out there. (Click on keyword: slushpile above to read the full article or wait and there will be another link later at the end of this post)
A couple days ago, I got really frustrated with myself. Why couldn't I organize my time better? Why can't I be a better writer? Why is this taking. so. freaking. long? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? I had a very quiet and very sad attempt at a pity party. It was neither fun, nor hoppin'. One absolute thought came from this moment and it was ugly.
"I'm never going to be any good."
"Whoa!" I said to myself. "How about you pull out that binder you keep in your desk of the first copy of your manuscript. How about that you little moper?"
Mean Me shakes head.
"Pull. It. Out."
I pull it out and start reading...then laughing and then crying. Geez, it was atrocious and I thought it was good. I have changed and I have gotten better. The problem with thinking what I did, is "good" is an undefinable term. I could think the same thing when I've published 50 books and none have gotten "Harry Potter" recognition. Our goal shouldn't be "to be good." It should be "to get better."
Imagine if I thought instead: "I'm never going to make any progress." Then I know there's something wrong with my method. That's something I can fix. No matter what you like to do, you're going to be making progress if you keep working at it. As soon as I start looking at my "old stuff" I could see the change.
Change = Progress = Success.
I might be a little (or a lot) frustrated that I'm taking longer than I thought I would, but that doesn't mean I'm a hamster in a wheel. Back to the awesome quote at the beginning of the post: "The time between when you are no longer a beginner but you are not yet in the business is the hardest ... and one of the biggest frustrations is: no one can tell you how long this phase will last." No one can say how long this phase is going to last. That is sooo true. So why am I being so impatient with myself? *shrug* The answer: I shouldn't be.
Here's my challenge for you: Pull out your oldest thing and compare it to what you're working on now. Look for the progress you've made and then pat yourself on the back (total future teacher moment here). Now tell yourself good job. That's right. Now read the rest of that blog post here, and pull yourself out of your pity party. No one likes a pity party, it's like being told it's your turn to clean the toilet without a pair of gloves and only a toothbrush. Yeah, go have fun with that.
Does the quote "speak" to you? Have you been having a pity party? Is it over yet? Let me know in the comments!
Note: Did not mean for this to sound preachy and my deepest apologies if it did.