Friday, October 3, 2014

"That Doesn't Count."

Image courtesy of Ambro at
If you're anything like me, you tend to dismiss your accomplishments as something insignificant.  You might have an inner dialogue that sounds something like this:

"Wow.  I got absolutely no writing done today."

"What are you talking about?  You re-read a section and made a few editorial changes."

"Yeah, but that doesn't count." 

It's an unfortunate habit of mine to engage in all-or-nothing thinking.  If I don't reach whatever goal I have set for myself, I feel as though I have done nothing.  So, if I write 100 words on a day I planned to write 500, I feel like a failure.

Recently I was talking with a friend, grousing about how I felt like a failure because I hadn't completed my novel.  She told me about all of the other things I've written, and that I should be proud of them.

Guess what the first thing out of my mouth was? It doesn't count.

The thing is, every time you write, even if it's something small, you are strengthening those writing muscles.  It counts.

Do some editing and only change a few words? It counts.

Work on a fan fiction piece instead of your original piece? It counts.

Write one sentence? It counts.

If you refuse to let the little things count for something, how can you ever be proud of the big things?  The big things are just made up of lots of little things.  If you get in the habit of dismissing your small accomplishments, you'll start dismissing the big ones, too. I speak from experience on this.

So, celebrate all of your accomplishments, even the little ones.  Even if you've written something that will never be usable, you've had fun and practiced your writing.  Be proud of that.

Don't sell yourself short. Everything you do counts.  Because one day, all of those little things will add up into one big thing.

That definitely counts for something.

Do you tend to dismiss the positive, or are you good at being proud of your accomplishments? Share your thoughts in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Taking pride in the little accomplishments is something that I've had to work on for a long time- and that I'm still working on. Since there's always room for improvement, I often find it difficult to accept that a piece is done. It's so much easier to feel a sense of accomplishment over an achievement in an area that one doesn't see oneself as particularly skilled in. (Gym class, for instance...)