A few weeks ago I proclaimed that deadlines were my friend.
Every day was a potential deadline. Stories would simply rise to the surface of my consciousness, like well watered seeds sprouting above composted leaves.
Clearly that didn’t work. Deadlines are horrible friends and daily deadlines just lead to dead lines.
Words are stuck in my drafts file. Incapable of stirring my emotions or piquing my curiosity, I refuse to press publish. My ideas fail to hook MY interest. Why edit?
Yesterday a line from Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong intensified my self-critiqueing.
I still feel scared and exposed and vulnerable as I prepare to share a new idea with the world. I still flinch a little when I turn to my community and say, ‘I’m trying this, and I would love your support!’ But I try to remind myself that, on the flip side, I love it when someone is genuinely excited about his or her work. I’ve also learned in all of my rumble that if you don’t put value on your work, no on is going to do that for you.
I stop my writing from growing into a full-ledged wonder story in all sorts of ways. I don’t value the process, the shitty first draft, or the second and third and fourth shitty drafts. I don’t want to open myself to an avalanche of negative feedback–which I perversely assume is the natural outcome of my thoughts. By not using this blog as a drafting, proposing, what-do-you-think platform, I rob myself of potential cousin-clicks and writer/photographer tips.
And if I don’t value my trying then who the hell should?
I don’t know that I will post every single day, but I am willing to try the whole deadline-is-my-friend thing again. I will risk being exposed and vulnerable, while I rumble with what I see, through my lens and through the leaves of my family’s tree.
Because I am worth it.
2 thoughts on “Well…that didn’t work”
Kay, I have followed your work for several years and have always found Shoots, Roots, and Leaves to be well researched, insightful, and inspiring. You bring much more than history and art to your work. You connect with the people, places, and events that you write about and we benefit from what you share. If you are considering writing a book, please do! I love your work. Press forward. PS, Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
Thank you so much for these kind words, Elmer! Pressing on with the Dodson stories is on my agenda! I look forward to collaborating with you on that endeavor.