Cut Yourself Some Slack

Sorry for being MIA for a while. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks. I’ve been traveling out of state for a retreat, which I enjoyed a lot, but took a lot out of me too. More than that, there’s also grieving Dad, which is still very fresh on my mind two months later. And I’m considering getting serious about my job hunt again, though I might be too wiped out to even think about putting on a Selling Myself face.

Which brings me to the topic of this post.

It’s easy for me to think that because I’m not working 60-plus hours a week, I don’t have anything going on, but I do. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself with this novel and with my job hunt and with mourning Dad, and I’ve been beating myself up quite a bit for not having the energy to get more done. I drive myself pretty hard to do things when I say I’m going to do them, and I’m hard on myself when I don’t meet my own expectations.

I keep looking at my lack of progress and wondering why I can’t just snap out of it and get it together and finish the Damn Thing. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? If this were a  play, I’d have a draft by now. I’d likely rewrite it from scratch, but I’d at least have something to show for the time I put into it. And on and on into a swirling vortex of failure and self-hatred that won’t let up.

I need to be gentler with myself. I need to let myself and my story breathe. So, I’m abandoning my usual writing goals and focusing only on doing something with my novel every day. I have to let go of measuring, let go of striving, let go of pushing myself toward a goal. I have to trust myself and my process. My novel will be written. This manuscript will get done.

Note to self: Be patient with yourself.