I’ve been working through children’s author Julie Foster Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas for Writers to help me become a better writer in 2017. My last post was a list of my successes in 2016. I accomplished more than I thought I had!
Day 4 was all about looking at challenges I faced as a writer and what things were standing in my way both physically and mentally. This was a hard exercise at looking within myself and seeing how I am my own worst critic.
Day 5 had us looking at those challenges and turning what Julie calls my BFJ, or Big Fat Judgement into a lesson learned. I really like this idea. It forced me to look at those judgements my inner critic makes about me and turn them into positives.
I learned that I have put my writing on the back burner because I was afraid that I might fail. So, I am going to take action. I will be scheduling writing time and treating it as if it was a traditional job. No more cancelling my writing time. In life, there will be rejection but if I never try, it won’t happen. I WILL be submitting my polished manuscripts in 2017.
I’ve been afraid to tell anyone outside my immediate family that I have been writing with the dream of being published. I was afraid that they would judge me and think that it was just another pipe dream. I learned that those who love me, support and encourage me and that those that don’t , well, “bye Felicia!” My worth does not come from other people’s opinion.
This exercise is such a great lesson. I’m having my daughters work through this with me so that they can see that judgements they make about themselves are not true and to turn the negative self-talk into a “learning.”
Give it a try. Make a list of 5 challenges you faced in 2016. For example, one of mine was that I didn’t submit any of my manuscripts this year. Then, write a BIG FAT JUDGEMENT (BFJ) your inner critic tells you about your challenge. Mine was that I am not good enough to submit and no one will like my writing. Then look deep within and write the truth about it. This is what you would honestly tell yourself or someone else if they came to you with this challenge. My truth was that to boost my confidence I need to find a critique group and learn about the correct way to make submissions and then just do it!
Now it’s your turn. Make some realizations for 2017, not resolutions.
I hope 2017 is everything you hope for! Happy New Year!