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31 August 2012 @ 01:10 am
 
Dear Charis,

Hello from yourself! The weather is lovely, wish you were here. Haha. But, seriously, I have some sage words for you. From yourself. I would staple them to your forehead, except that your forehead is also my forehead and our masochist tendencies are a lot more passive-aggressive (have you noticed your habit of eating a lot of carbs or dairy when you want to punish yourself? I'm not judging, I'm just saying that it's totally weird). So, words of wisdom. They go like this:

It's pointless to judge something that's incomplete. You wouldn't pass judgement on someone's drawing before it was finished, you wouldn't hate on a half-sewn dress, because you know that you aren't seeing the whole picture. It doesn't mean that you don't see areas that need improvement, and it doesn't mean that you can't give them critical attention, but you would never be dismissive of them and you would never judge them until you saw the finished product.

So stop judging your own writing so much. Of course it's not good. It's not finished. How can it really be good before it's finished? A novel isn't going to come bursting fully-formed out of your skull, because that would just be weird. It takes work, and it takes time, and you know that. You've let yourself get really distracted by your own anxieties, by how badly you want everything you do to be amazing and for everyone to love it and by extension you and that would be nice but it wouldn't solve the problem here. Because, I have to tell you, you didn't burst fully formed from the head of Zeus either. You aren't finished yet, so stop judging yourself.

You didn't write a bad novel. You wrote a complete draft of an incomplete novel.

You aren't a fundamentally unlovely, unlovable person. You're an imperfect, unfinished person.

Who is sometimes a whiny bratface, I won't lie, but the more energy you put into worrying about whether/how much people like you, the less energy you have to spend on being loving to other people (because they are also imperfect and unfinished and they need love too), and on writing novels.

Stop giving so much floorspace to useless emotions. You're letting them get between you and your work. Have a little more grace for us, okay? And for other people. And for your writing.

Do your work. Make it better. Be better.

And for heaven's sake, stop subconsciously self-punishing us with dairy.



Love,

Yourself
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Nancytenantofwildfel on August 31st, 2012 11:42 am (UTC)
That's some damn good advice. I need to remember it, too. One thing to remember is that you're not alone in these feelings. Or the food issues. I punish myself with chocolate and peanut butter. The PB is the really bad thing, since I tend to get a migraine if I have too much. Yet I can't walk away from it, either . . . You'd think the pain would be enough to convince me that it's not healthy for me. Instead, I seem content to build up a resistance to it, slowly, as if it were iocane powder. (But unlike iocane powder, it is not tasteless, odorless, and will not dissolve instantly in water.)

I will say that, having watched you grow up online, you're an amazing unfinished person. I have a great deal of respect for you.