This past week I have learnt the importance of forgiveness in my creative life. It came to me after I read Spirit Junkie – A Radical Road To Discovering Self Love And Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. The book is excellent and really resonated with me. It is one of those wonderful self-help books where you read it and cringe a lot, as you can see yourself on the page.
There is an entire section of the book dedicated to forgiveness. I never thought about the importance of forgiveness until I read this book.
For too long I have been:
- Resenting my imperfect past projects.
- Beating myself up over my bad writing habits.
- Resenting others who walked away from failed collaborative projects many moons ago.
- Resenting some Wattpad reader feedback that I got on one of my Vampire stories.
- Beating myself up over someone’s hurtful comments about a short story that I wrote.
- Beating myself up for spending three months writing a second draft that was not good as the first draft.
Holding onto all this guilt and shame has brought nothing but pain and misery into my creative life. Wasted time and energy. As a result projects that brought me joy and happiness have been stopped, shelved or criticised heavily by me.
Writing is hard. It can be painful, tough, challenging and it can reduce one into a sobbing mess on the sofa, wedging giant slabs of chocolate into her mouth. It is also something that requires time. Writing is a craft that takes hours, months, days and years to master.
As writers we need to learn how to take a breath and remind ourselves that we are simply in training.
Forgiving myself and others this past week, for all of the above, has been enlightening and I have had a few teary moments too.
Imperfect past projects are part of our creative training. Forgiving myself about my imperfect past projects has been interesting. Accepting that they are imperfect and acknowledging that I am still very fond of them has seen a change in me. I have actually found myself going back to my The Diary of Roxy Collins podcast. This was something I stopped doing back in November because I did not think it was very good.
Do you know what? I had the most magical time recording the latest episode. It brought me so much laughter and I forgot about the quality.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and will make their own choices. In hindsight I am glad the collaborative project didn’t work out, it was the right outcome. Forgiving those who walked away has been a lot easier than I thought.
With regards the Wattpad experience, I wrote an emotionally charged death of a much-loved character and I was bound to tug on some heart-strings. I have let the experience go as well as the hurtful comment about one of my short stories. This person’s comments say more about them than they do about my writing. Forgiving them has been such a release.
I am still learning my craft and the more writing practice I get the better.
Forgiveness is the secret ingredient to moving forward with my creative life. After all this forgiveness I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
I love this quote:
‘..sometimes when we are beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.’ Brené Brown Rising Strong.
Have a wonderful day