My sister is an artist.
Some of my earliest memories are of her drawing or of people talking about her drawing.
Each word used to describe her and each word is absolutely true. Me on the other hand…I can’t draw a stick figure.
For years, I used to watch my sister about pull her hair out over her work. “It’s not good enough,” she’d say or “It’s not done.”
I would sit back on the couch of our small living room and see nothing but spectacular brilliance. How could she not see the absolute beauty she created when it was right there staring her in the face?
I never got it…until I took my fascination with storytelling and decided to pursue a publishing career.
Last week, I finished revisions for a story and I felt a little stir crazy as I closed out the document. Doubt nagged and chewed at my confidence. My mind raced through all the possible other things I could have done with the storyline, characterization, or plot.
My trusted beta readers and critique partners all told me that it was ready…that they loved the story, but when I would reopen the document, all I saw were things I could have done differently or possibly better.
Let me throw this onto the table: I feel this way with every story I finish and each time I type “The End” I understand my sister.
My book was like her painting; it’s my work of art. While others can appreciate its beauty for what it is, as the artist, I see where I could improve.
And when I made the connection, when I realized I wasn’t appreciating the beauty in front of me, I took a step back and a deep breath.
I love my story. I love my characters and the plot and everything about it. Writers are artists. We use words instead of a paintbrush. I think it’s good that we are always pushing ourselves to be better, but remember to take a step back and congratulate yourself for your accomplishments.