|Mind the Gap (c) Suserl|
Mind the gap.
When speaking literally it means “watch where you’re stepping, idiot. There’s a hole in front of you.” Metaporically, however, it can mean a lot of things. Including “watch where you’re stepping, idiot. There’s a hole in front of you.”
Heading into a career in writing (or, really, living as a human being) you have to be mindful of the gap between expectation an reality. This not only applies to how you expect things to be (how you expect the world to treat you or accolades you expect to receive) but also what you can expect from yourself in a certain situation. And, because it’s easier, I’m going to pick on myself as an example for this.
I’ve already talked about NaNo last year and how I wrote over 100,000 words in a month. That’s amazing, right? And because I did it once, I should be able to do it again, right? Consistently. That can be the expectation, but it isn’t necessarily the reality. It wasn’t this month, anyway. I plugged away and barely made it half that length. I have a lot of words, but no book to show for NaNo. If I let myself, I could completely beat myself up over not living up to my own standards, but where will that get me in the long run? Nowhere. Frustrated and depressed and too annoyed to work on anything. My productivity will plummet and I’ll end up even more frustrated. Not a good thing.
Taking success and failure as they come is an important life lesson. Letting stress spur you on but not cripple you is too. It’s not easy to learn, but it’s worth the time it takes. Aim high, but don’t flog yourself mercilessly if you don’t hit those goals. Always try to do better than you did last time, but don’t hate yourself if you can’t. It’s a fine line and a hard thing to balance, but it will make you a lot happier in the end.
In other news, I’m getting photography credit in a publication for some shots I took in Europe back in 2007! Does this, like, officially make me a photographer? Because that would be kinda cool. 😀