Is it a February Thing?

Feb 10, 2016

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just Put One Snowshoe in Front of the Other

OK here’s the wisdom I procured on my snowshoe trek today. Last night I went to an author event in Fredericton with my friend Barb. Barb and I had supper at the Diplomat which is always life affirming as far as I’m concerned. I had a wonderful visit with Barb and her husband Tom . We chatted into the early morning hours while we knit on our respective projects. We talked reading and writing and much more. The event itself was held at the Fredericton Public Library and WFNB presented three of their authors Carla Gunn, Gerard Beirne and Chuck Bowie moderated by author Corey Redekop. It was well attended with lots of good discussion and writing talk. But somehow I come away from these things in a crisis of confidence. What is it about hearing other authors talk that sometimes makes us question ourselves? So in a bit of a slump I headed out on my snowshoe this afternoon and this is what I came up with as I put the effort of lifting each snowshoed foot through the deep snow in a breathtakingly beautiful forest glade. (too flowery? I don’t think so) Why do we tell ourselves we’re not good enough? Why is it that what someone else does always seems better? What is it we are striving for? When we make a cake do we need to believe it is the best cake ever made? When we build a house do we convince ourselves it is a house so much better than everyone else’s? So when we write why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we measure our accomplishments against the backdrop of someone else’s? Don’t get me wrong, we need a measuring stick. But I think the best measuring stick is our own informed and evolving standards. We need to honestly approach our craft and get our motivations in order. Tell the story that you need to tell and tell it the best you possibly can , knowing that hopefully you will look at it down the road and realize with what you have learned you probably could have told it better. Are we trying to write the best book ever? Are we trying to outsell or out review all the others? What would be enough recognition to erase our self doubts? Nothing. So accept your self doubts and get on with it.
Fast forward to February 10,2016
I searched out this entry from last February when I recognized the way I was feeling this morning as the way I felt around this time last year. Crisis of confidence. Is it a February thing or just a thing that constantly creeps in? I find I feel it often after being in the company of other authors. Are we really that hard on each other? We pretend to be supportive and encouraging but is that really what is going on. We have criteria , standards, professional integrity. Do we? or is it just the playground all over again? Who is the popular kid? Who is the best on the monkey bars? Who can swing the highest? Even giving in to this thread of thinking am I just whining, feeling sorry for myself, venting, being a poor sport? Not sure but as a new board member ( or the new kid on the playground) of WFNB I sometimes come away feeling like I did being the new kid at Beaconsfield Elementary School in Grade six. As a teacher years later I tried to teach my students to be kind and accepting. I tried to teach them to have self confidence as well. Be proud of your own uniqueness and self worth. All that! Reading what I’ve written so far I feel I should shut this pity party down. I came to the same conclusion last year. Just get on with it and accept there will always be the feeling that someone else does it better and has it together more than you do.Just put one snowshoe in front of the other.


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