Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself

I wouldn’t categorize myself as having a Type A Personality. I don’t believe in working too hard or too long and I certainly don’t define myself on what I do. I simply do what I do and hope for the best.

Yes, I’m driven to accomplish my personal and professional goals. I mean, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done, right?

I’ve been told on numerous occasions by numerous people that I am too hard on myself. Too hard on myself? When did being driven to succeed become being too hard on yourself?

My Writing Career (such as it currently is) is a product of starting from the ground up and building something that I grow increasingly proud of as I put out each book and I have no illusions about each misstep that I take. Not everyone will like what I write and since I am still a relative unknown (I think), I can either spin one hell of a load of hype or I can choose to continue creating until the world at large has no choice to notice me.

One thing I can say about the audience I’ve managed to put together up to this point is that they are certainly a loyal bunch and I wouldn’t trade them for all the accolades in the world. I often work in a vacuum and knowing that they are out there enjoying my work keeps me going during those times when my self-doubt threatens to overpower my enthusiasm for the content.

The problem with being told “Don’t be too hard on Yourself” is that it presupposes that I am somehow harming myself through my own actions. That is simply not true. I have to push myself a little harder than most, I guess, but I do take breaks from the juggling act from time to time when it all gets to be too much and I’ve managed to spread myself too thin.

I freely admit that my social life has suffered since I decided to shift my writing to the forefront. I simply don’t have the time to go out fraternizing when I know I have stories that need finishing. Such is the life of a creative person as I see it. I also know that if I spend too long in an idle state, I will choose to remain in that idle state and that’s no good for anyone. Besides, it’s never a bad thing to get lost in a good book. Especially when YOU are the one writing it.

I suppose that the intent of this saying is to take time to remember to enjoy Life. The thing is that I enjoy what I do. I suppose that I could chalk it up to my somewhat introverted tendencies when I’m not out in public. Perhaps not. I’m a very social person most of the time. I simply picked an avocation that takes me away from large groups of people. Plus, I’m a non-conformist who likes to do his own thing in his own way.

Thanks for your time and I am planning a new Lights and Shadows Update as soon as I get enough material written to post a decent excerpt. 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself

  1. I had to smile as your title popped up in my Reader. Ten minutes ago, I received an email from a friend in response to an article I had asked her to review. Of course, I had ‘introduced’ the article to her, with my feelings about the end result. The first line of her emailed reply said, “Why are you always so hard on yourself?”
    I think I can relate to this post in a lot of ways 😉

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  2. You stated a glaring fact that if you don’t push yourself, of course no one else will and besides, having drive is not being hard. I like the fact that you are aware of yourself and know when to kick back and chill a bit. If you don’t drive yourself, it won’t get done magically 🙂

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  3. There’s no manual on how to be an artist. Oh, there are schools to teach you technique, even marketing and career plans. But dealing with the day to day? Reaching for that creativity after you get home from the office? That’s got to come from inside. I think most of us have to kick ourselves at some point or other if we’re ever going to finish our projects, especially if we’re *shudder* self-published. We certainly don’t see the financial returns quickly.

    I’m glad you can pace yourself. Keep telling me how you do that; driving myself to exhaustion is probably my number one problem.

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    • I’ve been there too (the writing until exhaustion part) and I’m learning as I go to lighten up on myself more. I don’t follow the crowd where putting out my stuff is concerned because making money at it was never more than a fanciful daydream to keep my enthusiasm going. Between you and me (and everyone else reading this…hehe), I’ve even considered quitting a few times. Of course, that would never happen because my life revolves around my creative pursuits. I couldn’t quit if I tried but there have been times when it didn’t feel like much fun. When those times come up, I remind myself to take a break while remembering that the long the break, the longer the delay until whatever I’m working on gets finished. I’ve started promising myself that once this current story is done that I will reward myself with a very long break.

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      • I guess it’s that fanciful daydream of making money at it that I’m stumbling over. Even tho I suffer from starts and stops, I don’t think I could do anything else long term – including working in an office (gave that one up years ago).

        Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing; I realize that now.

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      • There’s nothing wrong with wanting Fame and Fortune and our dreams are important because they can show potential realities. Unfortunately, getting all the ducks to obediently line up to make that happen can take longer than our patience will allow. Love what you do.

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