Sometimes, it Takes a Good, Swift Knock on the Head
It took someone at my crit group’s none-too-subtle, sotto voce comment today to finally make me realize what I’ve been doing wrong. I have been spending far too much time looking at other peoples’ work instead of focusing on my own. So I came to a rather difficult decision, but one I believe is long overdue. For now, I am going to study and write, not necessarily in that order, and leave it to others to offer suggestions to other people. I’ve learned a lot from the group, but I’m talking too much and listening too little so I’m no longer an asset, either to the group or myself.
My intention is not to run away forever. I simply need to re-evaluate my priorities and, most importantly, work on writing, editing and revising my own efforts. Even the blogging for others could possibly take a back seat for awhile, partially because I’m feeling discouraged with how long it takes me to write what will be, if anything, an $8 post, and partially because I just haven’t worked up the courage or the confidence to pitch to strangers. I even got turned down when I offered editing/proof reading services free of charge to someone who really needs it! (I subscribe to a newsletter which is always filled with misspellings and incorrect word usage. It has now filtered into the site’s blog posts and social media posts which makes the writer in my cringe.)
Suffice it to say that between the subtle put down which for some stupid reason had me a little teary-eyed once I was alone and the fact that I can’t even seem to give away my services, it’s time for me to crawl back into my hermit hole for awhile. I even went so far as to do some minor revisions on the memoir I had decided to fictionalize. If that’s not spinning my wheels in the wrong direction, I don’t know what is!
Avoiding the Pity Party Train
I am not one to sit and feel sorry for myself. It accomplishes nothing, makes you unpleasant to be around and is the most unproductive life form on the planet. It all comes down to the advice I gave my daughter recently, and myself almost daily: Don’t focus on the things you have not accomplished. Instead, congratulate yourself on the things you have. Even if the only things I’ve managed to do are to get up, make the bed and brush my teeth, at least I didn’t spend the day in bed feeling sorry for myself.
So this is me, pulling myself up by my bootstraps (which is a real trick considering my feet are bare), accepting the constructive criticism, regardless of how it was delivered, altering my routine again, taking the lessons and moving on.
I think it’s fitting that this comes as we are changing months because it’s as if I’m starting the month of June with a bright, clean, white piece of paper in front of me and a handful of colored pens so the picture I paint will be as bright and shiny as I could possible want. Doing so alone means that I don’t have to listen to anyone complaining about me coloring outside the lines or painting my picture in a way which might offend their sensibilities. I promise I will be as courteous about their creations.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for lessons, no matter what kind of package they might come in.
2. I am grateful for beginnings, for hiatuses and even for endings. They all serve their own purpose.
3. I am grateful for failures as they make the successes that much sweeter and teach me what is working and what is not.
4. I am grateful for the successes of my friends and colleagues. They’ve all worked hard and deserve those moments in the spotlight.
5. I am grateful for abundance: lessons, setbacks, challenges, journeys, love, friendship, joy, heart breaks and heart heals, peace, harmony, health, prosperity and philanthropy.