Our self worth is tied to our successes. We don't even recognize it until we flunk a class or burn a meal. It is then that we face that wall of failure. How do we react? Anger? Depression? Sadness? Sometimes it's a combination of all. It may not even last long, just a glimmer of it sliding across our consciousness before we move on.
Think about it, every day we succeed at something. Even if it means that success is measured in getting to work on time or the socks are picked up. That is a triumph. As writers it is finishing the story, writing your pages, editing something that measures our success. Interestingly, we tend to focus on those successes in a fleeting way.
What we like to do is zero in our failures. We pick up the phone to call our friends or family to complain about what we did wrong; forgetting to call a client, losing your temper at work, or leaving your freshly made coffee in that special travel mug at home (sacrilege!). We even gather together over coffee to dwell on the rejections that arrived today or the judge in a contest that ripped the story apart.
With each negative thing our self worth, even our creativity takes a hit. Staggering we get back up, but the damage is done. The scar is there. As writers, the wounds are deep and we nurse them, even as we attack our stories to fix them and make them better, stronger. Just like that burned meal, when you remake it you remember what did not work. The next time it comes out perfectly.
The point? Keep writing.
In order to strengthen our failing self worth, we need to fortify our writing. The scars are still there, but if we allow the blows of negativity to bring us to our knees and we stop writing -- what was the point of starting in the first place?
Do you think someone like Julia Child could make the perfect French meal the first time she tried or the second, or third?
Every success comes from numerous hits to your self worth. You have to hit the bottom to appreciate what it looks like on top. It takes hard work and tenacity to get where you want to go.
Look at what you have accomplished: Have you finished a book or more? Have you plotted the next story? Determined characters? Reworked the scene? Sent out a partial? Have you taken a class to work on what you struggle with?
If you don't strive, you don't move. I'm going to move and drag my self worth along with me.
What kind of blows to your self worth have you taken recently? What are you doing to counter them?