Despite the fact that I have an assignment on Beowulf I should be working on at the moment I figured I should take advantage of inspiration to write a post while it's fresh in my mind. If you've been following me, you know self confidence, especially in my writing, is not something I thrive in. It seems I have a natural tendency to see the good in the work of my peers, and yet I find every flaw possible in my own. I don't give myself much credit, even when I get positive feedback.
As I was thinking about how I've been trying to delve into this assignment (that's of course due tomorrow) I suddenly thought to myself: Why am I so quick to judge? Who says I'm not a good writer? I do! I'm the one spoon feeding negative commentary to myself. I'm in no way boasting when I say I've heard, from various sources, that I can write well. I think in the back of my mind when I hear "good" I think: But is it good enough? I honestly despise the word good. What does that even mean? It doesn't tell me anything. Does it mean I do what I'm supposed to and that's okay? Or does it mean I write better than most? I'm not even sure how to react anymore. I don't necessarily take it as a compliment because I think of it as a pacifying word. One used to encourage me so I don't loose faith. Basically a word to not hurt my feelings. How is that beneficial to me in the long run? It's not. It will lead me to believe in a future that won't evidently happen because I was constantly told I was good when I wasn't.
One of the benefits of being social networking savvy (obsessed is a strong word) is the quick and easy connections you can make with people, especially those who share your interests. I've been lucky enough to have the privilege of befriending fellow writers. Those who ultimately want the same things as myself and know exactly where I'm coming from with my fears and doubts. It's refreshing to find people willing to go out of their way to help you understand your clouded thoughts. It's incredible to me how "writers" (if that's what I am) all probably go through the same insecure, self doubting process. I go through consistent "Is this even for me?" and "Do I even like writing?" phases, and knowing I'm not alone in that thought process is truly comforting. I'm realizing that, as with everything, every writer is different. Inspiration comes and goes for me and that's OKAY. I don't always like writing and that's OKAY. Sometimes the most I get out is a paragraph and that's OKAY. I don't have to think I'm good. If the best I can do is believe in improvement that's OKAY. The worst I can do, and usually do, is compare. I must appreciate the work of my friends and fellow writers but I must not think mine is any degree less. To compare is useless because you truly never know what phase someone is in. Don't do it. You'll be much happier with yourself if you embrace your own work and be able to appreciate the work of others without comparisons.
I know Rome wasn't built in a day (so cliche I know) so I'm still going to have my bad days. But if I didn't I wouldn't be humbled by the good ones. Take it day by day and go in with zero expectations. It makes everything a whole lot more pleasant.
Never forget the essence of your spark!