There are days when I look in the mirror and think, not bad, could be worse. Then there are days I look at my reflection and mumble expletives while stripping off a closet full of clothes. Nothing I try on looks good. These are usually the days I receive a random compliment, like “Hey, your hair looks good today,” or “Did you lose weight?” And before I know it, I’m skipping through the day with a smile on my face. The image in the mirror looks a little better than it did an hour ago even though I didn’t change a thing. Why? Because someone else helped me see myself in a different light. I needed to step away from the mirror.
Looking at your own writing is like looking in the mirror. Some days you read through your work and think, “Not bad, could be worse.” and then there are days that you convince yourself that everything in front of you is junk and no one is ever going to enjoy reading anything you write. You compare your words and tales to those that have found success much like we compare ourselves to the bodies splattered across the magazines. Some days we feel like we have just as much to offer and others we convince ourselves we will never compare.
Here are a few things you can do before you start deleting your words or ripping up manuscripts that weren’t as bad as you thought.
1. Step away from your work. Return a day, a week, a month later (whatever it takes) with fresh eyes and a clear mind.
2. Read through some old material. This will allow you to see how far you have come.
3. Read success stories. They often touch base on the insecurities the writer felt at one point. Just knowing someone who succeeded once felt the way you do now will help erase the pessimistic thoughts running rampant through your mind.
4. Clear your mind. Do yoga, meditate, take a walk, lie on the couch and stare into space.
5. Grab your journal and write down all of the negative feelings cluttering your mind.
6. Develop your own personal mantra to say. Mantra’s have a way of changing your energy