Will We Ever Measure Up?

6:00 AM

I remember when I was younger and I used to believe that the world was endless. It stretched on forever in every direction, and no matter where I went, I would be faced with billions of possibilities and even more wonders.

I'm older now and I know a little better. I know now that you have to do more than just step in a direction and hope for chances to come your way. You have to step up and stand firm. You have to charge full speed ahead and go at it with all you've got.

Because living isn't effortless anymore. It might have been easy as a child. There were no goals, no expectations. Life was all color by numbers and chapter books. Outside games and fights on the trampoline and trying to hold your breath the longest in the pool.

Now, living isn't always fun. It takes will and work. And there's this cloud of expectations looming overhead sprinkling the same thoughts on you again and again: "will I ever measure up?"

And when I look around at the people I pass every day I draw breath, I wonder, "who all is living? who all is trying? who all fears they'll never make it? who else thinks like me?"

I can't be alone in this. Can I?

So many eyes, watching. So many ears, listening. So many expectations. The pressure swells and burns, and sometimes ... it's too much.

But it doesn't have to be like that. 



Nano has the potential to be another one of those "to-do's". It's another accomplishment we have to check off our list, another thing we need to do. You have to write write write in order to be good enough, to fit in with the rest of us. And if you fall behind, well ... I guess you've lost. Unless you work work work yourself till drowning to catch back up to that standard you fell short of.

Writing is an art. There is no set standard for how to do any of it. There are no absolute rules, except maybe for grammar. There is a freedom that comes with writing. And with that freedom should come breath. 

Remember who you are. Remember what you write for. Remember who you write for. There's always another draft. You're just a few brainstorming sessions away from working out that plot hole.

I'm going into this nano with no plotline and the barest idea of an ending. But I'm doing it, and I'm alive. It's so easy to feel like a failure. There are so many things to mess up on, so many little things to get wrong. But I beg you, take a breath and look at what you're doing. Don't try to make anyone happy. Don't try to write a perfect draft. Editing exists for a reason.

Have fun this nano. Let go of any pressure to hit that word count or write that perfect line.

Breathe. You are enough.

Sorry about my disappearance last week :P I had the ACT and then Trunk or Treat and work the night before and the post just didn't happen.


How are you doing on nano? If you're not doing nano, how are you doing with your WIP?

<3

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15 comments

  1. Not doing Nano, but I needed this post. I get super insecure about my writing.

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    1. Aw! Be strong! You have a voice <3

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  2. I'm behind on my NaNo goal (100k in 17 days because my book is long and I'll be on vacation starting the 19th-ish), so I've been a little discouraged. I'm trying to remind myself that a) I'm still ahead for the normal 50k goal, so I'll at least win that even if I don't achieve my personal goal, and b) I'm enjoying what I'm writing and I'm still getting closer to this book being complete than I would be otherwise.
    Those reminders are working pretty well, and I'm certainly not giving up on my goal, but there's still a hint of that discouragement lurking in the back of my mind.

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    1. DUDE. O.o That's CRAZY! But so awesome wow. Go you!! You have absolutely no reason to be discouraged. Lift up your chin and breathe, girl. You're better than you might think <3

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  3. I'm actually ahead of my NaNo goal for the first time ever---which is an amazing feeling! But do I have plot? An ending idea? Hahahahahaha nope. xD (I'm a pantser so shhhh I'll figure it out.) But this is still a beautiful and needed reminder, thank you. <3

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    1. Ahhhh that's so amazing!!! I'm behind now :P But hey, I'm on vacation! Also yessss we can be pantsers together! *high fives*

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  4. Not doing NaNo, but this was a really beautiful post. Some lovely thoughts. :)

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  5. This is such a great post. It's so easy to play the comparison game and feel like you're constantly falling behind, especially during a time like NaNo. We just have to remind ourselves that's NOT the spirit of NaNo! It's to focus on OUR writing and do OUR best! Personally, even though I'm a little behind right now, I'm absolutely loving my story, and that's what counts :)

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    1. Yes! You're completely right. Loving your story and pushing for your personal goal is what really matters.

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  6. Hannah, let me just say this post deserves a round of applause <3 There is a freedom that comes with writing , I love this bit. As writers we tend to stunt ourselves. Once we decide on something for our plot our whatnot we don't even explore different approaches we could take. We tend to put ourselves in a box, even when we are trying SO hard to think outside of it. But WE are the writers, we can change anything we want to whatever comes into our mind.

    Anyway, you followed my old blog (Pip and Lolly) and I was wandering around the blogosphere and re-found your blog (which is AMAZING, I seriously love your way of writing), so I thought I'd drop a quick comment. Keep up the amazing work, girl!

    ~ Ella Marie

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    1. Yessss. Yes to that ^^ And dude Pip and Lolly is an old blog now? *sheds tear* I only fairly recently found that place, and I've been so crazy busy the last few months that I've gotten behind on reading other blogs. Thank you for saying hi! I'm definitely going to check out your new blog! :)

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  7. I keep telling myself that I need to do NANO but I just never get around to doing it...ugh. It's one of those things that I really need to get done, but it just never ends up being on the top of my priority list.

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    1. Aw. *pats* Maybe nano just isn't for you? Or maybe it's time to put writing higher on your priority list and decide to write that book this month. Only you can tell for sure <3

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  8. This was such an encouragement today, thank you. <3

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