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
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.
©2015 Christy Birmingham