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You’re Not Good Enough

As a writer, I, and every other writer I know, have developed the bad habit of beating ourselves up for writing a rotten first draft. We become so sensitive about our precious words that we forget that ‘first attempts’ at anything we want to do are usually not our best work simply because we haven’t done it before. We haven’t learned the pitfalls to avoid or what the second step will require of us.

 

If you don’t know James Clear yet, you might want to visit his site HERE  .

Just like all of us, he’s struggling to be better at what he does. He’s found the words to motivate himself and us. he inspires through examples – his stories and those of others. Please enjoy this excerpt from a recent post.

You’re Not Good Enough to Be Disappointed

 

Sorry, you just are not good enough to be disappointed.

“In other words, in the beginning you need to get comfortable with feeling stupid, uncertain, and unskilled. You’re not allowed to be disappointed by your amateur performance because you haven’t developed the skills of a professional yet. It’s only the professionals that are allowed to be disappointed because they have put in the work to be better.

  • J.K Rowling is allowed to be disappointed if she writes a bad book because she put in 20 years of work to get good.
  • Kobe Bryant is allowed to be disappointed if he plays a bad game because he put in 20 years of work to become amazing.
  • Jack LaLanne was allowed to be disappointed with a bad workout because he trained for 60 years to stay fit.

But you and me? We’re not good enough to be disappointed yet. We’re bad enough to get to work.”

 

How’s that for a concept? Bad enough to get to work.

NaNoWriMo points that out in capital letters.

The draft you write during the month of November will be something worth burning in your outdoor firepit.

But don’t burn it. You can make it better. Your draft is the skeleton of your new book.

 

As writers, we’re always learning. Writing daily makes us better. As James Clear write:

“But the start is supposed to be a struggle. In fact, it’s all supposed to be a struggle. The approach of professionals is an indication of just how strongly struggle is linked to success. The Richard Bransons and Jerry Seinfelds and Tom Clancys of the world see failure as a signal to re-commit to the process, not as a reason to wallow in disappointment.”

 

So, we can’t afford to be so arrogant about our skills. We should continually be honing those skills and learning new ones.

 

You’re not good enough to be disappointed. You’re bad enough to get to work.

 

Do visit James Clear – he won’t disappoint you.

 

How is NaNo going for you?

Let’s chat and get out all those negative thoughts so we can get back to work!

 

Please do comment. You have great insight!

Marcia Richards

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Discussion

  1. Debra Eve  December 5, 2013

    Great message! I’ve got a nasty troll in my head that I need to bury under some bridge. Learning self-compassion has been one of the greatest challenges of my life, ongoing and rewarding. Glad to hear Nano went so well for you, Marcia!
    Debra Eve recently posted..A Midweek Motivational: The Good News About Getting OlderMy Profile

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    • Marcia Richards  December 5, 2013

      Oooh, I think we’re all plagued with the troll, Debra. Why is we find it so difficult to give ourselves a break? :)
      Yes, NaNo wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined it might be. Now I have a decent 1st draft to revise. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Patricia Sands  November 20, 2013

    Excellent post! I’m so impressed you are doing NaNo. Write on and have a very wonderful Thanksgiving. xo
    Patricia Sands recently posted..And then pass it on, thanks …My Profile

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    • Marcia Richards  November 20, 2013

      Thanks, Patricia. I resisted doing NaNo the last few years thinking it must be a stupid way to write. That was fear talking, I guess. I absolutely love NaNo now! It forces me to focus, to write at any time of day whether or not I ‘think’ I’m feeling creative and I set a timer for 30 minute writing sessions and for 10-15 minute breaks so I don’t feel chained to my desk. Everyone should try it once.

      I wish our Thanksgiving was the same date as yours. It would be nice to have a longer break between holidays. But I will enjoy spending time with all of our kids and grandkids!
      Marcia Richards recently posted..You’re Not Good EnoughMy Profile

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  3. Diana Douglas  November 20, 2013

    Now I’m beating myself up because I’m not doing nano. Sigh… Will the self-recrimination ever end?
    Diana Douglas recently posted..Lorna’s Voice, Princess Di, and Me!My Profile

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    • Marcia Richards  November 20, 2013

      Aw, Diana, don’t do that. You can do your own version of NaNo any time! I’m going to do it for every book no matter what month it is. You could choose a month with 31 days that isn’t close to any major holidays. So much less stressful!

      I’m issuing an edict for you – NO MORE SELF-RECRIMINATION UNLESS YOU WISH TO BE BEHEADED!
      Marcia Richards recently posted..You’re Not Good EnoughMy Profile

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  4. Donna@Gardens Eye View  November 20, 2013

    Certainly takes out the fear and puts in the determination for me!!
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  5. Raelyn Barclay  November 20, 2013

    And you can’t edit a blank page…

    Great points. Great post.

    50K is going to be a bust for me but the story itself is going well…for a first draft :) How are you doing with NaNo Marcia?
    Raelyn Barclay recently posted..Video I Love: The FoxMy Profile

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    • Marcia Richards  November 20, 2013

      Hi Raelyn! Glad you enjoyed the post.
      I’m doing pretty well with NaNo. For whatever reason, I’ve suddenly been able to write 3000+ words each day for the last few. It’s great because I had dropped way behind my goal for awhile. I hope to be able to hit 50,000 by the end of the day on the 27th. That would leave me Thanksgiving weekend free and, since I’ll be traveling, that would make it less stressful. The writing itself is going well. I’ve already decided to change a few things when I edit but I have no desire to do it during this challenge–that’s so not me! I’m usually the one who writes a paragraph and has to edit ten times before I move forward. So, I’m really happy with what NaNo has taught me and I may continue to write this way after the challenge.

      As long as you’re feeling good about what you’re writing, I wouldn’t worry about hitting 50k. Whatever word count you end the month with, you’ll be farther ahead than you might have been without NaNo. Wishing you an easy flow of words for the next couple of weeks.

      Thanks for visiting, Raelyn.
      Marcia Richards recently posted..You’re Not Good EnoughMy Profile

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