Friday, February 20, 2015

Memo to self:

One foot in front of the other. One step at a time.

That applies not just to writing novels, but all the other creative endeavors I'm taking on.

I have to avoid my usual tendency of being 10 steps ahead of myself and seeing all the things that go into a project to make it successful. I can't overwhelm myself with all of those steps. Just do one thing at a time, and even if it's a small step, it's still progress.

Progress is the goal, even if it goes slowly. Or in a twisty-turny way that makes sense to almost nobody else but me. I have faith in me to do exactly what's right, even if it takes a little longer or is a little more work.

Every day I make any progress toward any of my (3? 4?) main creative goals is a step in the right direction.

Now I just need to shut up that voice in my head that says I'm not stepping fast enough, or doing enough.

I have to remember I'm doing the best that I can at any given moment. (I really am.)

And that good things take time to build. Time that it's OK to pour into a project so it gets done the right way.

I'm never as far off as I fear I am. I'm always closer than it seems.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Silencing that voice.

Too often, I feel like I’m metaphorically smushing my palms to my ears and yelling “LALALALALA!!!!” as loudly as possible.

It’s all because I’m trying to conquer the voice in my head. You know the one. It’s the voice that says:

You can’t.

That’ll never work.

You’re not qualified for that.

What a stupid idea.

I’m fighting back against that voice, starting today. Not by shouting, but by talking back in a rational way. And now, I say:

Others have done it. Why not me?

If it doesn’t work, at least I tried. (And then I’ll try again.)

I may not know all I need to know right now, but I’m learning.

I won’t know if it’s truly a stupid idea until I try.

Actually, I can.

That voice is the mindset of those who don’t dare, don’t dream, and don’t do. And it needs to STFU, pronto, so that I can get back to dreaming, daring, and doing.

That voice is the thoughts of a frightened child, a worrywart, or someone who is afraid to fail. I cannot be afraid to fail. If I fail, what do I lose? The time spent learning and doing? The small amount of money I spent on things like informational courses and books? All of that is worth the risk.

I can drown out that voice with my own. I can counter the irrational points with rational ones. That voice doesn’t like to be talked back to, and in time, it’ll go away if I keep effectively countering its points. It won’t go away if I try to push it into some cobwebby corner of my mind and pretend it’s gone away even though I know it’s over there, lurking in the dark, ready to make itself known at the worst possible time.

Fighting back feels weird. It feels like I’m doing something wrong or being disobedient. But I have a voice of my own that’s worth being heard, just like I have ideas worth exploring.

If I fight back enough, using my own words, at some point I won’t need to fight anymore. That voice will be silenced. 

Today is the start of my journey toward having one voice, and one voice only, in my head: