Happy Day?

I have no idea what’s going on with my memory. Not 10 minutes ago, I realized I was very happy about something, and I was all set to write about it…and it’s gone. Just gone.

It might be that the mess-in-progress is now longer than it’s ever been, and I’ve made up for everything I’ve hacked out of it in the last six weeks or so. I’m almost halfway done, which means I’ve come farther with a book than I have in years — no small cause for celebration. And I really like what I’ve written.

Like most writers, I have stretches when I think, “This is crap.” In the last few days, I’ve been wondering what that means. In my case, I’m standing outside myself and my work, and judging it the way I fear other people will judge it. It’s not really that I think it’s crap. It’s that I think the outside world will say it is.

Candidly, it’s almost a given that someone in the outside world will think it’s awful (assuming the outside world ever gets to see it, i.e. I sell it). So why is that person’s judgment more important to me than mine?

When I put it like that, when I understand what I’m doing, it all fades away. All that matters is that I like what I’m doing. I’m not blind to the faults in my work, the stuff that needs to be fixed. I don’t pretend I don’t need to get better, that I won’t get better. But there’s a world of difference between knowing I’ll grow as a writer and wigging out because I can’t write anything good.

Yet another variation of, “Trust thyself.” Which isn’t a bad thing to keep thinking.


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