I get down on myself a lot about all the things I should be doing – I should be publishing more, I should have a book out already, I should be doing residencies and workshops and getting more grants.
Most writers, especially those of us who are also parents, can probably relate. We watch our writer friends having book launches and signings. We watch them go on great retreats in the woods, alone with their novels and thoughts. We watch them get book deals and reviews and magazine spreads. Meanwhile, we struggle to edit a few pages from the drivers seat of the school pickup line.
Maybe you beat yourself up too. Maybe you have lots and lots of “shoulds.”
This week, while applying for a writing grant, I stopped and took count of the things I’ve published in the last ten years. The number surprised me.
I’ve published fifty separate pieces since 2010. I also wrote a memoir and finished a novel.
I’ve also managed to keep my child alive, health and happy for thirteen years.
Not bad. Guess I’m doing more than I’ve been giving myself credit for, and I’m sure you are too.
I know the “shoulds” will creep back in soon enough. In fact, they already are (I should be revising, submitting that flash piece!). But it felt good to stop for a minute and look back and see that I’m doing much more than I thought I was – and more than I’ve been giving myself credit for doing.