The what if’s got me this past week. Every time I sat down to write, I waged war within. The cursor blinked, I stared. Tapped out a sentence or two then hit the delete button. The cursor blinked, I stared. Hands on the keys, at the ready, to knock the socks off my readers.
It’s not that I don’t have plenty of thoughts. I always have blogs in the queue that I’m working on. I tried different ones on different days. I tried funny but funny falls flat when funky is the feeling. Moving to morose was, well, gloomy. I wrote and erased an entire novel. Or so it seemed.
After a few days of that I decided that I needed a change of scenery. I cleaned. I mowed. I walked around outside (and took more pics of fall wildflowers.) That’s what I do when I need to do some figuring out of things.
Here’s what I came up with:
Nothing crushes creativity quicker than comparison.
The thing of it is I wasn’t comparing myself to other people. I was comparing myself to the last few posts I’d written. The Wildflower Warrior concept has resonated with so many of you! I’ve loved every message, text, note and art design. You all get it! We were made for more!
This may sound weird but I began to put so much pressure on myself to perform perfectly, to give you, my readers whom I adore, exactly what you needed to read, to resonate with ALL of you EVERY time, to watch the number of reads, shares and likes beat the previous post. I froze.
Pressure to perform perfectly paralyzes productivity.
While I want to continually hone the craft and sharpen the skill of writing, always improving, I cannot compare what resonated with my audience yesterday to what I’m working on today. It kills creativity quickly.
I will be too much for some.
My style isn’t for everyone. For some I’m over the top. I’m too simple or hippy or farmy. I mean who compares women to wildflowers and warriors? Lessons from nature and chickens and weeds? Seriously? And the whole Jesus thing? Enough already. Is that really how you think? You are too much.
So when I sat down to write this past week, I found myself wanting to water it down, making sure I wasn’t too much of anything for anyone. But being something for everyone leaves me left with nothing for no one because I’m exhausted trying to fit in a mold I wasn’t made for.
Yes. I will be too much for some. It’s okay. I’m hoeing my own row. The seeds planted there will produce the harvest I was meant to grow.
For others I will never be quite enough.
Sigh. Oh the words that whirl around in my head on this one!
Who do you think you are? You’re seriously going to push publish on that? No one will like it. No one will get it. You’ll never be a real writer.
There’s more but you get the picture.
Does anything crush creativity faster than trying to measure up to the critics and complainers, the killjoys and commentators that have nothing nice to say?
Sometimes this is me in my own head. Sometimes this is me speaking for you before you’ve had a chance to read what I’ve written. Sometimes it really is people to whom I will never be enough.
As I’m typing this, I am reminded of an excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt’s speech on April 23, 1910….
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. (bold is mine)
While I may never be enough for some, I want to be brave enough to get in the arena anyhow.
Maybe you get it, this too much and never enough. Maybe you wrestle with it as well. Let’s dare greatly and keep creating, even if we’re too much for some and not enough for others.
Be you. It’s what Wildflower Warriors do.
Fiercely for you!