It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spreads himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
-- Theodore Roosevelt
I don't like to lose. I hate failing. If I am going to do something, I want to do it well, and hopefully be among the best. Can you tell I'm an over-achiever only child?
The problem is, I'm a big old chicken. Writing is a new world for me. What if everyone hates what I've written? What if everyone thinks I've lost my ever-loving mind? What if I . . . dare I say it . . . fail? These are the thoughts that slow my writing and make me second guess scenes and character choices. And the thoughts are getting louder and more frequent. I keep telling them to hush up, but darn if they aren't ignoring me.
One of my favorite podcasts repeats the mantra, "It's okay to suck." I've put it on a sticky note next to my computer, but the words are losing their meaning. So, I returned to my favorite Roosevelt quote (which is above) for motivation. It's helped, a little.
What does everyone do when their confidence in their writing starts to wane? How do you re-charge your writing batteries and write the story that it in your heart? It's a new year, and my motivation needs a big old kick in the pants.