If you are an artist, a musician, a writer, someone who creates…
If you don’t dare show your work to others for fear that it isn’t perfect, no matter how many times you’ve polished and revised and improved it…
If you offer your work and it is enjoyed by many and yet criticized by others to the point that you tremble with the need to revise and improve what you once thought was a finished product…
READ THIS: The Business Rusch: Perfection « Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Yes, writers and other creators need to master the skills of their trade. We need to grow and improve, to study and to keep creating. But there comes a point when we have to be able to trust ourselves that the work is done.
How many projects have you done that you have literally workshopped to death? That you have revised until it is polished but lifeless? That you have stored in a closet or on a hard drive because you fear that it isn’t perfect and will therefore never be good enough?
I’ve done this so many times. And Ms. Rusch walloped me upside the head with a perspective that I sorely needed today.
Read her blog. It will be so worth the time, I promise!
Okay, so the cold is hanging on, and a sore throat developed last night, six days into this craziness. Guess who’s off to the doctor?
On a much brighter note, Mending Fences finally got a ‘review site’ review. As much as I love, love, LOVE the reviews readers have been generous enough to leave on Amazon and Goodreads, there’s just something about getting a look from a Reviewer, you know?
This particular reviewer, at the Romance Junkies site, gave the book 4 Ribbons, which in RJ talk means “A book I would recommend to all my friends.” Yep, I’m a happy girl. Here’s the link to the review: Mending Fences.
So, here we are at Leap Day. Do you remember what you did last time, four long years ago? Even more important: what will you do on THIS Leap Day?
Yes, it does matter. After all Leap Days are incredibly rare. More rare than a blue moon, which occurs every three years or so. In an average lifetime, you’ll only experience 19 or 20 of these days. Shouldn’t Leap Day be spent on something more than the usual mundane tasks of work, or mopping the floor, or picking up the kids from school? Ok, you probably can’t skip out on your job, and leaving the kids at school will lead to all sorts of trouble, but you should definitely skip mopping.
Try spending your spare time today doing something–anything–out of your normal routine. Take a different route home from work and notice the new sights along the way. Turn to a radio station you never listen to and experience new music for a few minutes. If you’re making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, exchange the spaghetti for rice or mashed potatoes. (Come on, try it before you declare it disgusting!) Pick up a new book that isn’t in your usual genre. Try ice skating. Stop by a rancher’s fence and pet a cow.
I think I’ll work a bit on a new story idea that’s completely out of my normal comfort zone. Then I think I’ll go for a drive. Not to go anywhere, just for fun. My towering Helvetican hero does that a lot and has always wondered why I don’t. I always say I’m too busy to just go wander by myself with no destination. I will impose a time limit on myself, because there are certain things that simply must be done today, but otherwise, I’ll give it a shot. I’ll just drive and see what I see.
Take the challenge. Be creative, get out of your rut, and do something you’ll remember the next time Leap Day rolls around!
I read this today and absolutely loved it: Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success: A Manifesto « When I Have Time by Sara Rosso.
How many times have you stopped yourself from going after something that interested you, something you wanted to try, because you were afraid of failure, or afraid of what others might think, or …whatever other reason you didn’t go for it?
I’ve done that, so many times. Luckily, something started changing for me after I hit 40. I decided I was too old to worry about what other people thought of me. I realized that life is too short and that I didn’t want to be an old woman someday, thinking back on all the things I wished I had tried. I knew that Old Me wouldn’t be proud of the opportunities I’d backed away from out of fear.
So, I’m pushing myself and I’m doing things I’ve always wanted to try. It doesn’t always go well. I studied Tae Kwon Do last year, and ended up blowing my knee out. I don’t regret a moment of it, though. I loved the lessons I learned. It broke me out of the shell I’d encased myself in over time.
Now that the knee is strong again, I take Irish dance classes, something I’ve loved for years and always talked myself out of doing because I was old and out of shape and I’d look stupid. I have a performance coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, and I couldn’t be happier.
I’m publishing my books, which scares me to death because it’s such a huge a thing to tackle. But now I won’t stare into the mirror someday, looking Old Me in the eye, and regret never trying.
What do you really want to try? Here’s a challenge: Go for it today!