Monday, August 26, 2013

10 Weeks to Heart Breaths: Comparisons, Self Doubt, and Other Nasty Feelings

Heart Breaths is being released in ten weeks from today (EEP!), (EDIT: from tomorrow. I'm a spazz.) and I thought y'all might like a little behind the scenes at what's going to be going on between now and then. I'll be doing a post every Tuesday until release day, updating you on the book and all related things.
(And of course, you can add it to Goodreads HERE if you haven't done so already) 
Since I've officially announced the impending release of Heart Breaths, things are a little different around here.
Namely, feelings. Nerves. 
You know what the worst thing to do as an artist of any kind is?
Comparing yourself to others. 
Seriously, if there is one way that you can plunge yourself into a pit of self doubt and negative over thinking, it would be to start looking at other people and their projects and letting yourself think they're the same thing.

Here's a little something I've learned, though it hasn't sunk into my head yet.

Everyone is different. Every book is different. Every situation is different. The story idea, the inspiration, the playlist, the cover, the characters, the AUTHOR!
Not. The. Same.

And yet for some bizarre reason, we keep on comparing ourselves like everything everyone else is doing is an exact replica of you. That everyone is putting in the same time and energy as you are, that everyone else started from the same place as you did, at the same time, with the same strengths and weaknesses.

That everyone's going the same place.

"Don't compare!" everyone tells you.
Sometimes it feels like you're being told "Make your blood cells stop working! Tell your kidneys to just stop working!"
Just because someone tells you to do something, it doesn't mean you can just *POOF!* do it like that.

I knew that when I announced Heart Breaths, I was going to be in for some serious changes. I knew they weren't just going to be logistics of juggling the publication of a book by myself, becoming a publicist, an editor, a marketer, artist... I knew it was going to mean I was going to step out of my comfort zone. Very far out of my comfort zone, in fact.
Any time you make a piece of yourself available to the public, you're making yourself vulnerable. You're opening yourself up to criticism, and to more self-doubt than when that piece of you was hiding away with the rest of you.

Sometimes it helps to remember that I'm not the only one who's ever done this. That there have been plenty of people who've gone through what I've gone through.
But on the other hand, I know that my situation is unique by virtue of the fact that I am unique. That everyone is unique. That there's never been a moment like this before, with this group of people with this knowledge at this time.

That this is different than anything that's happened until now and that will happen after this.
Which means that comparing myself to someone who may have almost the exact same situation as I do isn't smart- because it's not the same thing.

It's not.

The only thing I can do is do the best that I can. Right now. With the life that I've got, in the place where I am. That I can realize that being here, doing this, is where I need to be in order to become a bigger person. In order to stretch out of my comfort zone and find where I'm supposed to be headed.

Nobody ever said it was easy.
But they all said it was worth the trip.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I so compare myself with others and my self doubt plummets to negativity. I can't wait for your book!!! Congrats. I think Self Publishers are rockstars!