Years ago I was struck by the profound saying of my friend and writing mentor, Susan Lynn Reynolds, "Don't compare the inside of yourself with the outside of others." And now I've heard writing guru, Anne Lamott say the same thing. Ah, writers! We're famous for under-estimating ourselves.
Those of you who've been following along are aware that I've been challenged by a home reno since late August and I'm happy to report that the messiness that drove the OCD inside of me crazy during the past few months has subsided somewhat because the home's exterior now looks as if nothing is going on. The inside is still driving me 'round the bend. Stuff piled everywhere. Clutter as room overflow with pieces from other areas of the house. Doesn't this remind you of writing a novel or other large manuscript? Scary, thinking that it can never be put right? In order?
This is exactly the time when you have to breathe; have faith in dealing with one detail at a time; take your progress in baby-steps. Utilize a reliable feedback group (such as a WIP - works in progress group), beta-readers or the help of a trusted editor much as you'd call on a decorator to grapple with everything from the drywall out. I'm hunting for everything from paint colours to ceiling fans to bed frames to textiles for my new space. And I'm feeling pink! In the same way you, as writer, must arrange you written materials just as furnishings are arranged within rooms.
Have faith in your taste; your sense of style; your innate ability to create order from the seeming chaos. Think of me, vacuuming up drywall schmutz and insulation fluffs, dreaming of my perfect vision. Believe that you'll get there too.
And write on!
Poet. Writer. Teacher. Artist.