1000 voices speak up for compassion

To Writers Who Struggle with Self-Compassion #1000Speak

1000 voices speak up for compassion

The #1000Speak for Compassion movement is here, February 20, 2015.

I am proud to take part in the #1000Speak movement for compassion and here is my contribution with this post. I thought about what to write and then got hard on myself, judging whether the concept I came up with would ultimately meet readers’ expectations. Then I thought of this Faulkner quote:

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with. ~William Faulkner

Okay, well, now that’s a little depressing, isn’t it? I mean, if we can never make the idea as perfect in written form as it is in our minds then why bother? Aha, but isn’t is so worth trying to get out to the reader those amazing ideas, to try, to ponder them, to meld them into words? Isn’t that a wonderful challenge to take on?

I think so. If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be blogging and working on a second book. But, I do struggle with self-compassion when it comes to my writing. I am hard on myself, and I think other writers struggle with the same issue. We can have compassion for other writers as we read of their struggles with their book plots, character descriptions, or having a feeling of lack of creativity some days. But then after we finish reading that post (or two or three), we return to our projects and curse ourselves for our perceived failures and shortcomings.

This is a message to urge you to have the same amount of compassion for yourself as you do for other writers. Have self-compassion, writers. I am going to start today to practice that myself. I am going to be kind to myself on those days when it takes me a half hour longer than I thought it would take to write a business article for a client. I am going to tell myself that if I don’t edit so many pages of my manuscript today that is okay too; the main point is to try at least. The “try” is the important part.

Benefits of Self-Compassion for Writers

If we writers can have self-compassion, then I do think that our work will enhance from it. We will spend less time bashing ourselves and more time writing. We will cope better with difficult situations and use effective problem-solving techniques to work through the development of our writing style or another project we set our minds to achieving.

You might be saying to yourself, but self-criticism as a writer is how I get better at the craft. I disagree. I think it hinders you rather than providing motivation. I think it causes a writer to spend loads of time punishing himself or herself in the mind rather than continuing to create and revise works in productive ways. It’s not moving forward; it’s stepping into quicksand. Days are lost in self-criticism.

So, in the name of self-compassion, as writers I hope you offer yourself the same kindness that you would extend that you would provide someone else. If you would treat someone else kindly in the same situation you are in, please treat yourself the same way. I deserve it, I realize; I deserve self-compassion. You, as writers, deserve self-compassion too. Let’s start today.

About the 1000 Voices for Compassion Movement

Speak up for Compassion

1000 Voices for Compassion Movement

Want to join in with your own compassion post? OR you can send out a message on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #1000Speak to take part! There is a Facebook group too.

Share a message of compassion; speak up and let’s share positivity! This movement is led by Yvonne Spence and Lizzi Rogers.

It is about 1000 Voices for Compassion, and I heard that the #1000Speak movement is now above 1000 people!! It is happening today, Friday, February 20. Please take part in this momentous occasion.
 
 
Β©2015 Christy Birmingham

Advertisements

171 thoughts on “To Writers Who Struggle with Self-Compassion #1000Speak

  1. Janine Huldie

    I absolutely love this, Christy and even in writing my #1000Speak post, I was also so very hard on myself and must have edited bout 20 times. So, you are right we, writers, do need to be more compassionate on ourselves, because we deserve to be able to write and do what comes best to us. Thanks so much!! πŸ™‚

    Like

    Reply
  2. ladysighs

    I think it must be more difficult on those who want to write and be published than for those of us/me who write for fun. But that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle and worry and fret over what I write. Trying to express myself in a little eight line rhyme and trying to say it so it makes sense is not always easy. But then that is why I write in rhymes. lol Poetry doesn’t have to make sense. πŸ™‚ I think I am compassionate in the way I view my attempts. My challenge will be to come up with new or creative ways to do so. πŸ™‚

    Like

    Reply
  3. Dave Small

    Great post Christy! What’s true of writing is also true of life. I’ve seen people “condemn” themselves for not getting enough done — yet they have completely unrealistic expectations of what they “have to do” in a 24-hour time period. They would never expect that out of somebody else. They’re not only overworked but also carrying around a lot of guilt. I think it’s great to build skills and strive for excellence — but perfectionism is the enemy.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Great point Dave that people often do this in general, even if they are not writers… which is sad,,, I will be sure to cut down my to-do list after reading your comment. And strive to just be me! Thank you for such a wonderful comment here.

      Like

      Reply
  4. BroadBlogs

    It’s interesting how we often have much more compassion for others than for ourselves. Sometimes I deal with this by imagining that when I’m talking to myself I’m talking to someone else–suddenly I am much more compassionate!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    Hi Christy! YES to being compassionate to ourselves as writers. I so agree that we can be extremely self-critical when it comes to our writing (and in many ways that covers other areas of our lives as well). I think anything we care deeply about and identify with (like our writing) is a place to remember to practice compassion and acceptance. As I try to tell myself (a LOT!) “done is better than perfect!” ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Chris

    Wow Christy!

    That is going to be one very tall order for me to fulfill. Each time I sit down to write there is this very snarky little guy, who sets up shop in the right hemisphere of my brain.

    Actually, he is usually sitting in a BarcaLounger with one of those obnoxiously large buckets of popcorn. He maligns nearly everything I write, and will even hurl fistfuls of his popcorn at the viewing screen he has up there.

    Sometimes I am able to summon an usher to his seat if he gets too rowdy, but I don’t think I can banish him. He is rather well connected to the owner of the theater.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. marjma2014

    Reblogged this on kyrosmagica and commented:
    I’m reblogging this from Christy at Poetic Parfait, as I’m all for compassion and a touch of kindness. #1000Speak. Just found out about this today : 1000 voices speak for compassion, 20th February 2015.

    Like

    Reply
  8. charlypriest

    Good tips, about the self criticism, I do realise I have to work in a lot of things but for the most part I think IΒ΄m great, and that is weird. IΒ΄m probably a narcissist but only when it gets to writing, so IΒ΄m actually a one quarter or less of a narcissist. I even laugh at my own writings, when I re read them after someone has posted a comment saying this or that, and that is weird again. I just have fun doing it, the writing thing. ItΒ΄s pleasurable for me. I realise IΒ΄m a very novice writer and have loooooong ways to go to achieve the techniques that real writers have, but as of right now I take it step by step day by day learning here and there not suffucating myself and not taking so seriously to the point that IΒ΄m frustrated. I do get frustrated sometimes with my attempt at writing a novel while IΒ΄m reading about how to write novels, so I change to write a poem or a short story or just some random thing that comes to mind like the post you read about gays and vegetarians. And always in a fun ironic type of mood, but making a serious and rationally ( I think) point. That post was my way to disconnect from the stupid novella IΒ΄m trying to write. Point being, youΒ΄re right. Not to stress out too much,unless they are paying you for writing and you do have to meet a deadline, up until that moment comes if it ever comes which I doubt, taking it easy and enjoying the writing process is great. My passion, probably the only one I have. The day I stop enjoying writing IΒ΄ll leave it, but I doubt that day will come.
    Great post. Did I talk-write too much here?…..ThatΒ΄s your fault then.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      I hope that you won’t put writing aside as I know it is such a part of you. I can tell from your posts how much you enjoy the craft and learning more about it. And you have a unique style that cannot be taught. Be proud of that and keep writing! πŸ™‚

      Like

      Reply
    1. raymond alexander kukkee

      This is VERY good advice. Scribblers are often WAY too self-critical, sometimes to the point of destruction of our own creativity. After all, writers are people too. We must be allowed to enjoy our own imperfections once in a while “:)

      Like

      Reply
  9. Mark

    Perfectly said Christy! We are hardest on ourselves as writers, artists and creatives. We would never allow anyone to bash someone we love and care about. We stand up and fight for them. But we allow ourselves to bash ourselves? We deserve better than that and yep, you nailed it, self-compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. JL0073

    Quite an inspiring post. I think it to be a great cause. We all struggle with confidence issues so I totally sympathize. There’s a part of me that continues to struggle with whether my writing is good enough so it’s good to know I’m not the only one.

    Like

    Reply
  11. herheadache

    Yes, it is worth it and days like this remind me why. We think writing and words and talk don’t make a difference in something like peace and compassion for our world, but it really does. We just have to choose to see it. This was an excellent way to approach the topic of compassion. Sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. janecarroll674854527

    So true, Christy…we are our own worst critics. I think there is a huge difference between criticism and critique. I feel we can benefit from critique…but the criticism just fuels the fires of self-doubt. I enjoyed your post…thanks for taking part in #1000speaks

    Like

    Reply
  13. jorobinson176

    Very true. Every now and then I’ll say something so insulting to myself that I stop and say “Pardon?!” (not out loud – mostly). Great advice – self compassion my next priority. πŸ™‚

    Like

    Reply
  14. Norah

    Great post Christy. I love the Faulkner quote you opened with, and I agree with you that we all, writers or not, owe ourselves a little self-compassion. Anne Goodwin’s post was also about self-compassion. I’m not sure if you saw it: http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal/compassion-something-we-all-need
    Faulkner’s quote could be seen as rather depressing and debilitating. If we knew we would always fall short of the mark, then why try? But try we must, wrestling those thoughts and words to make our work the best we can.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and telling us to ease up and not be so hard on ourselves. I appreciate it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  15. Debbie

    Well said, Christy! I think we creative types do tend to be too hard on ourselves (while trying to convince ourselves that that’s “good” for us!). We’re not that way with each other; why should we turn all that angst onto ourselves?! Thanks for helping us see that we need to treat ourselves kindly, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  16. Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    Hi Christy! I think being hard on ourselves is a ‘writer’ thing. I freak out before publishing every post on my blog. Ha, ha! Sometimes it’s hard for me to feel like I’ve finished writing a short story or book because I keep going back to it and changing things and self-editing. It takes a while for me to say, ‘that’s enough!’ I’m learning to be less harsh with myself though. I love the quote. I should get it tattooed on my arm. πŸ˜‰ Great post! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  17. Resa

    Whew, glad I’m not a professional writer! You guys are so hard on yourselves.

    Yet, I can relate to what you are saying because in doing my Costume Designs, I can be overly critical and cut myself no slack in what I need to deliver. This often leads to unnecessary work and spinning my wheels. So I agree, self-compassion is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Yes, sometimes people wonder why we do what we do as creatives… I had wondered if you ran into similar issues with creating costumes. Well let’s be easier on ourselves with the next projects, okay xxoo Also, your comment about feeling comfortable leaving comments on the women’s blog really made me happy when I read it today ❀

      Like

      Reply
  18. D.G.Kaye

    Are we not our own worst critics? Any writer will admit it. Yes, it’s amazing how we can be so compassionate about others and causes, yet we can also be so hard on ourselves. Good for you learning to take a breath when you need it. I am still learning this. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Like

    Reply
  19. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Excellent post. It’s the first thing most of think of when helping others – to be compassionate. We’ll give our all to assist and provide comfort. However in our haste, we relegate ourselves to the backseat of caring. This is so true in the world of caregiving. We burnout and keep on giving as we become more and more depressed, our health begins to fail, we forget what it’s like to have fun or take a day off.
    Thanks for the food for thought.

    Like

    Reply
  20. LadyPinkRose

    LOL You have just about as many commenters as I do! If not more even! Good for you! And as for Compassion, we all are our worst critics even amongst praise and well wishing. It not only extends to writing but to photography as well. I am continually pushing to better myself, in both word and photo. Lately, I have actually really liked my own work, more and more in fact, and that, I believe is a huge step towards acceptance of me for exactly who I am in any given moment. Great post, Christy! I am really happy our paths have crossed and it excites me to see another one who is not afraid to be open and far reaching to those who come to view her work. Don’t change …. you are perfect just the way you are!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Aww Amy! Such a sweet comment, not that I would expect any less from you with your kind nature! I am pleased to read you are enjoying your own work more and more; that’s a wonderful sign of confidence. I am also glad our paths crossed as exchanging creative ideas in the blog world is so much fun – I look forward to more of it! Thanks again for the lovely words here ((HUGS!))

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      I am SO pleased it helps you, Irina. I am glad you are continuing with your project. It’s easy to get frustrated during big projects and I think kindness toward the self can really help us keep moving forward with them. HUGS

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  21. Pingback: To Writers Who Struggle with Self-Compassion #1000Speak | Free Content Collide.O.Scope

  22. Mike

    You took on Faulkner and stared him down Christy – fearless indeed. I’ll have to think further about your elegant argument – I have been known to let myself off the hook by taking a mile, to mix metaphors πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  23. yprior1

    Christy – this is a great entry for the speak compassion (I have read a few this week) and my favorite part was this
    “I hope you offer yourself the same kindness that you would extend that you would provide someone else.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  24. Michael

    Wow! A hundred comments on this one! I hate to be the spoiler with 101 but here it goes. I prefer to call “self-compassion,”” Giving Myself a Break.” Nothing ever matches the dream

    There are many times I don’t WANT to write, but have to. During the night my Muse creeps up on my slumbering form and begins to rap on my forehead with her knuckles and starts singing in a lilting, little-girl’s voice, “MICHAEL! write write write write write write write write write write” Then at OTHER times the Spirit looks at me sternly and in a looow voice says, “AHEM! Isn’t there something I told you to say for me? HMM?”

    When they double team me, it is unbearable.

    HEY! Thanks for the FOLLOW and the comment over in Cor Novus. I am now a follower of thee.

    Like

    Reply
  25. Pingback: Number 325 and Proud Of It | Her Headache

  26. Heartafire

    It is human nature to be self-critical but in actuality it is narcissistic to spend so very much time concerning ourselves with perfection rather than writing what is from the heart. You have done a fabulous job on this subject of self compassion Christy, enlightening and helpful!
    Thank you dear one!

    Like

    Reply
  27. Letizia

    A beautiful message. Self-criticism has a role, of course, but self-compassion is so important to the creative process. It allows us to have fun, to trust our instincts. I will work on this in myself as well, Christy. Thanks for another great post.

    Like

    Reply
  28. Ste J

    we are all too harsh on ourselves when it comes to us but only to happy to notice the good in the writings of others, if we all just lightened up a little bit and perhaps accepted the good points of our writing as people pointed them out we would have a less stressful time when writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  29. Fiestaestrella

    Thank you for getting the word out, Christy. This is so cool! I also suspect that you have worked this one quite a bit: writing with self-compassion, because I think you are 100% aware of how hard it can be to practice it; and, I also sense your dedication to trying -not to mention, it shows.

    As you wrote, ” the main point is to try at least. The β€œtry” is the important part.” Oh boy, and I’m write there. I’m leaving that spelling error. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter how much I am cramming my head with school work right now. I can ‘try’ to ‘end up’ with some written expression of my churning, even if I deleted 90% of what I was thinking, or trying to write.

    It’s the process for me that counts. That’s what I’m in it for – the magic that happens in the middle.

    Egad! It’s worth it! Thank you for writing this piece, and for sharing your voice!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing your own thoughts here on the subject. Through the comments here at this post I see that we writers in general tend to be more critical of ourselves than of anyone else. I had suspected as much when I wrote the post but now it is confirmed!
      You are right/write that I too struggle with the task and that is indeed why I used the word “try” in the post; you are so perceptive to have picked up on that point!
      EXCELLENT words that you use: “It’s the process for me that counts.” YES! It’s about the journey, isn’t it, more than anything. That’s where we get insights and learn, really learn, about ourselves. Thank YOU for sharing your voice here too!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Fiestaestrella

        Thanks for making me feel welcome, Christy! Your reply shows me that you understood my words. Yes, self-criticism is a barrier that we need to overcome – me included – as a writer, creator, communicator.

        I always appreciate your comments and your support on my blog. I think that when we understand how much support and encouragement is needed in our own process, we give it more to others. πŸ™‚

        It’s like 90% cheerleading for others and 20% writing for oneself. I’m not sure I have it figured out – that’s why I enjoy writing – and my math didn’t add up because the ratio is always changing depending on ‘what shows up.’ Regardless, it’s so nice to be a writer within a community.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          You are most kind. I always enjoy your comments too; they provide helpful feedback on whether I am going in the right direction here. Yes, you’re a wonderful cheerleader and I’m glad to know your creative self!! πŸ™‚

          Like

  30. Kev

    It’s so true! We sympathise/empathise with our fellow authors when they are struggling, because we relate so well to it. Then forget all about it when we return to our own struggles. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  31. Pingback: I feel good! | Norah Colvin

  32. Indah Susanti

    Great article and inspiring! I admitted that I struggle to write either that writing for blog or for editorial purposes – I guess my major issue is because mostly I have to write in other languages than my mother tongue…Love your point of view about Self Compassion – that certainly important to keep writing and enjoy the process of the writing itself!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Indah, thanks for adding your point and I could certainly see how writing in a second language would be difficult and thus make you self-critical. You are doing great in your blog posts that I read though! Thanks for enjoying the post and adding your thoughts to contribute here πŸ™‚

      Like

      Reply
  33. lscotthoughts

    What an awesome post on self compassion, Christy! I am always too hard on myself and even doubt many times after clicking on “publish” in this venue. Then again, I find the attitude of doing my best, writing from my heart and am grateful for those who show they are touched by my words…all we can do is try our best and have a little self compassion. πŸ™‚ Hugs, my friend…β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      I didn’t realize you struggle with self-compassion, Lauren. Your posts are always lovely! It’s amazing how many of us writers are hard on ourselves and others don’t know it… until now when I’ve published this post, that is!! Let’s keep trying our best and be kind to ourselves ❀ HUGS!

      Like

      Reply
  34. Sue Dreamwalker

    Christy your piece is an excellent write.. And you have so much compassion within you for others its about time you spent more of it upon yourself.. And your writing encourages others to wrap themselves up in some self compassion too.. A great lesson for all of us.. Thank you Christy… Your words are so very inspiring..
    Love and Hugs your way xx Sue

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Sue, that’s a great point that we get wrapped up in ourselves – I’m nodding about that. And that happens outside of the writing field too; many people are very self critical. Thanks for your beautiful comment here. I’ll be over soon to visit you too!

      Like

      Reply
  35. Pingback: My Article Read (2-22-2015) (2-23-2015) | My Daily Musing

  36. rommel

    It’s like that with every creator. I get so …ehem … anal with the things I create that I envision to be somewhat perfect. When something goes completely wrong or off, it’s hard to be content. There goes your self-compassion advice. You can’t beat yourself up. It does get frustrating. You lose focus and motivation. But you should never give up. Just keep on truckin’ you know. πŸ™‚ You have to be okay with getting close to perfection, the way you want it to be. Well, your desire to do things you want plays a huge part too. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  37. markbialczak

    Wow, I missed this last Friday, Christy. Glad I caught it on a catch-up. You are right. Being kind to yourself is sometimes hard for us writers. But we can do it. Nothing is gained from self-doubt, and cofidence is contagious!

    Like

    Reply
  38. peakperspective

    You totally hit the nail on the head with this post, Christy.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely if self-compassion was a tangible good we could pick up at the shops and sprinkle about in our food? And if it could be made of chocolate.
    Cheers

    Like

    Reply
  39. lrconsiderer

    I guess I might score the billion-and-oneth comment here. I really like this because so many writers I know get tangled in knots about their writing, and it’s usually absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Well done you for encouraging them so nicely, and for trying to take the lesson on board for yourself. A great post for 1000Speak πŸ™‚ Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Yes, this is easily one of the most popular posts here to date. I hadn’t realized so many writers would identify with my sentiments. Thank you for adding to the conversation here and for the additional encouragement! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. lrconsiderer

        I think when you’re putting yourself or your work Out There, it’s always such a personal thing that there’s bound to be a level of insecurity about it, and a desire to be appreciated and validated for what you’ve done πŸ™‚ I suspect the same is true for more professions/hobbies than just writing, but I think especially for writing because it’s part of the soul of the writer which is subject to scrutiny.

        Like

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s