Every day I wake up, I ask myself, Can I really do this? Can I take one more day of this life I am so used to, and yet I never seem to get a hang of?
How is today going to be like? Will it be rewarding or will I go round in circles trying to link dots that never seem to connect? Will I experience something refreshing that will cause me to continue this path, or will I give in to gloom? Will I live? Will I live knowing that I have to, or will I live simply because I want to? Because I want to, live for me?
There are days when I am tired. Stressed. Exhausted from doing the damn same thing. Every. Single. Day. Days when I pull the plug on myself. No books. No poetry. No friends. No calls. Nothing, but a critical self.
I have come to realize that we, writers, have a 1000 lives. Every day, a little bit of us enters a vault. Without coffee; without cigarette, or a cat that truly understands.
I have spoken much about a certain kind of restlessness that seems to swallow me. Restlessness boring through me that makes me my biggest critic.
I am a heavy critic of my own work, my own shortcomings, not exactly due to self-doubt but because of a struggle, a fecund struggle, to produce something valuable.
Some days, I watch the sun flood into my room, and hit my face. This strange feeling overtakes me. It is the same I feel when the sun sets. There is hardly any in-between. Restlessness, again, when I flip through the pages and realize the unending cycle.
There’s always going to be those gaps people don’t see. Always going to be drafts. Always going to be an intense human speaking to herself through many different characters. There’s always going to be me, nit-picking at none other, but me.
So am I a Perfectionist or Just Too Critical of Myself? And is it bad thing?
No! It isn’t always bad. At least this is what I have gathered…
1. It keeps me on my toes. Being my own critic means I’d rather find the loop holes in my work before someone else does. Well, at least majority of it.
2. It means I will put myself in my readers’ shoes; try to analyze my work as a reader and not as the writer. By so doing, I’m more likely to find the booboos.
I have actually come across writers who do not read through their works before publishing. I know you’re probably thinking “who does that?” But yeah, it happens!
3. It means I am open to change and ready to grow.
Over the past year or so, I have had the opportunity to interact/work with many young and aspiring writers, and one unfortunate thing I have noticed is that most of them are not ready to grow. They are not open to correction, not ready to hear suggestions, or for their work to be critiqued. Sad, but true.
Being critiqued does not mean someone is about to ‘rubbish’ your hardwork. It should be seen as an opportunity to get better. While you’re not obliged to take it, it is for your own good to at least take note.
Criticisms may initially taste bitter, but we must understand that it is an important part of the budding process.
So whether it’s coming from your tidy old self, from someone in a better place than you are, or just the person next door, we should be open to it. We should see it as an opportunity, for us writers, to become the better of ourselves.
Happy New Month! Stay Writing ❤