A Creative Person’s Most Vicious Self-Sabotaging Emotions

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Inside the mind of a creative person can be a brutal place. Fear. Insecurities. Frustration. They rage in our thoughts like a violent thunderstorm. Yet from chaos comes creation. We must hold on until this piece of art/ literature/ music is complete. Walking the tightrope isn’t easy as we try to navigate through the pitfalls of self-sabotage.

Impatience and Self-Doubt

Ah impatience! You are my arch nemesis. I either rush through edits or drag my feet.

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Miserable and negative, I begin to lose faith in my work. The result is a sloppy draft I end up spending more excruciating time on anyway.

Self-Sabotaging Inner Dialogue:

  • Screw it. This is good enough.
  • I’m bored with this manuscript. I want to move on to the next thing.

The Fix:

  • Force yourself to slow down. Take the time to be careful
  • Take a break. Time will change your perspective, so you can see your work clearly
  • Ask for help. Have someone else look at your project. Fresh eyes are a good thing

Self-doubt can kill a creative project. Frozen in fear and angst, the mind can’t focus or perform. You feel bad about yourself and want to give up. The naysayers love to help you fail. Why? Envy. You are the ONLY person who can create YOUR art. Most of the naysayers are destined to fail at what you’ve achieved.

@sato00 – Stock. Adobe.Com

Self-Sabotaging Inner Dialogue:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • People will criticize and make fun of me.

The Fix:

  • Smash those negative thoughts and focus on what YOU like about your work
  • Nobody is perfect. Development of your creative skill sets is a journey. Nobody’s born a master craftsmen. It takes work
  • Remember – sometimes people can be jerks. You can either be crushed by their opinion or rise above it and do what you need to do

 

Creation demands Endurance

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Plodding through my current WIP for the umpteenth time, I ran across a passage about my main character’s family motto. Endurance. My character leans on this family axiom in a particularly troubling and dangerous time. His ability to endure through the most trying and painful experiences helps him to survive.

It got me thinking about editing.

Hear me out. Imagine going through the same manuscript again and again. I think I’m on either edit effort number five or six. I’ve lost track. It’s exhausting. I just want to hand the dang thing off to the next person. BUT – when you’re an Indie Publisher, there really is no “next person.” You must endure and do the work before sending it out. Line editors cost money. Most Indies don’t have a big wad of cash to blow. We must be certain the quality of our books is worth the expense. If your editor comes back with a “this isn’t ready” then you’ve just wasted hundreds of dollars.

“Find the one thing you value most and hold onto it with your very soul. How much would you endure to keep this treasure near your heart?” – excerpt from The Obsidian Gates

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What keeps me going? Passion. I love my stories and I love sharing them with my readers. Now you know my dearest treasure. My passion helps me to endure.

Sometimes You Just Need a Break!

You’ve completed your novel and have self-edited until you can’t stomach looking at the words anymore. Time to send it out into the world, right? WRONG!

This is the perfect time to lovingly put your book in a safe place with a time lock. Why? I know how you’re feeling right now. You want this book gone and off your hands. Haven’t you suffered enough over its pages?

The blush is off the rose,” “You’ve lost that loving feeling,” “If you like Piña Coladas…” I hate that song.

@mario beauregard – Stock.Adobe.Com

Let me talk you down. Impatience is the killer of quality. In your mindset right now, you don’t know for certain whether the book is ready or if you’re just being impatient. Giving your brain a chance to rest is key. You can come back in a month or so and look at your work objectively.

@Marek – Stock.Adobe.Com

What to do while you’re waiting. Hmm. You are a writer and writers write. Start a new book or a short story. You’ve got an entire month to finish an outline or first draft. Have a bit of fun by letting your creative brain engage in something new.

The Start of a New Year. Wait. What?

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It may sound strange, but I consider June and July the start of my new year in creativity. This is the season I drag myself out of the author’s cave and head to Denver Comic Con. Talking about my stories, hanging with my author peeps and visiting with the fans gives me the boost I need to head into another year.

In the works for 2017

Audiobook Adventure – Pariah is headed to audiobooks. Stay tuned for details and dates!

Conquering the Wild Wooly World of Editing – It won’t be long before I send Book Two in the Heart of the Warrior series to my line editor.

The Most Action Packed Weekend of The Year

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It’s coming! A few weeks left before the superheroes, artists, actors, authors and fans return to Denver. That’s right! It’s almost Denver ComicCon time!

I’ll be there leading a panel (Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave: Complex Plots In Fantasy, Mystery and Suspense Thrillers) and signing books. Look for me under the two HUGE LIONS!

“The Heart of The Warrior” series at http://www.crrichards.com

Words of Encouragement from A Creative in the Trenches

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TAG LINE: If I can do it, so can you!

They told me girls aren’t good at math:

I became a computer programmer

They said I couldn’t pass my project management certification, because I didn’t have enough experience:

I’ve been a PMP since 2004 and am now a successful program manager

The naysayers pontificated my dream of being an author was impossible. I’d never get through those impassible publishing gates:

My fifth novel comes out this summer (www.crrichards.com to check out my work)

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Am I super brilliant? Blessed by a fairy godmother? Have an “in” with publishers? I wish.

My Secret: I stay focused on my goal, work hard and maintain a super stubborn faith in my dream.

Don’t let the naysayers talk you out of achievement. I’m living proof they’re wrong. What are you waiting for? Go out and conquer!