Writers Journal: Are you being too hard on yourself?

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!

This week’s post is one where I talk about my faith, so if that offends you, stop reading now.


I’ve been told for years by many people that I’m too hard on myself. Maybe I am, I don’t know. I probably am.

I have pretty high standards for everyone, but especially for myself. I fail at them constantly, but I just can’t bring myself to accept anything less than excellence. Basically, this means that I can’t bring myself to lower my standards, despite knowing I’ll be more successful if I do. Crazy, isn’t it?

I’m sure you’re wondering what brought this on. Read on …

Once again, I have had a stumble in my writing life. Not just my writing life, but my faith life, as well. You see, I felt led to finish the race book and another project I have going and I didn’t. Instead, I told myself the Regency book, Darcy’s Predicament, was what would bring in the money and so that’s what I should write. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Write what is going to pay the mortgage and buy you the groceries you love so dearly.

Despite how much sense it made, the Regency story stalled numerous times. I finally gave up on it and have spent four days blissfully letting the race book pour out of my head and onto the page. I’m happy, God’s happy that I finally listened, and I assume the computer is happy to be used so well. LOL

My point is, I came down very hard on myself when I was struggling. Yes, I could have immediately listened to my conscience or inner voice or intuition, whatever you want to call it. I didn’t. I was sure I was correct and set myself on a course … and never thought about it again.

In the midst of my struggle, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I should be able to write no matter what, is what I told myself. I regularly (read: daily) beat myself up over it.

To be honest, I’m still upset with myself. I should have made the story switch a lot sooner. I’m happy I have now, but I wasted so much time in the interim. I’ve said many times before that God gives me these stories to write. I could not do this on my own. I’m not creative enough or confident enough by myself. I should have remembered that and done what I should, instead of what I wanted.

So, now that I’ve said all this, what can I do to change it?

I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. The most obvious answer is to do as I’m led instantly, to make an immediate change in course. It sounds easy enough, but I’ve been an adult for thirty-plus years and have yet to do so. Granted, I wasn’t always walking with God, but still. I do try, but these moments (I’d like to call them tests) never hit me when my mind is on them. They always happen when my brain is in another gear. Sigh

One of the things I’m trying hard to do is to retrain my brain. I want it to believe that it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to miss a deadline and have to move it out. It’s okay to be less than perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. I’m not the only one. No one’s going to beat me or fire me from writing for making mistakes, no matter how many I make. No one out in the world is going to call me obscene names or tell me I could screw up a wet dream because I did something wrong. And if someone did, they’re the ones with an issue, not me.

I’m trying to teach myself it’s okay to have lower standards, but it’s a long, hard road.

Have you ever been told you’re too hard on yourself? How did you handle it? Have you made changes?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3


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