Show Up and Give your Best

6:00 AM

Even if it isn't much, show up and give your best.

These words have just come to my heart and I really felt the need to share them with you. I'm not going to lie to you guys. All-things-writing have been really difficult all this year. I'm not sure why, but I'm struggling to get much done.

With my edits, I feel like I'm slogging through mud. I'm only 25k in, and I've been working hard since January. That's six months. It's hard not to feel really lame.

And here, on my blog, I feel like my well has finally gone dry. I stood at the top for two years and lowered the bucket each week, but a few months ago, my bucket scraped a bone-dry bottom. I've been running all over the desert of my mind, searching for a new well or some kind of miracle oasis, but so far my search has been fruitless. I'm empty, and my ideas just aren't coming.

I think my blogging is suffering because my writing is suffering. My creativity has been ground to a halt, and so when it comes time to actually talk about creativity and doing better and improving, I don't have much to say.

Because I haven't done much this year. I haven't improved. At least, I feel like I haven't. Then again, sometimes it's really hard to be sure about these things when it's concerning your own mind. 

One thing I'm having to remind myself with Camp this month is that you just have to write. I've written six complete novels now, and I thought I was past the "wanting to write a perfect first draft" stage of my writing journey. But I'm totally not. I want this book to be pretty and perfect. I want it to be awesome. 

But it has to get written before I can do anything with it, now doesn't it?

And the other day it occurred to me that maybe I should give myself a little more grace here on the blog, too. Every post doesn't have to be a masterpiece. Everything I say doesn't have to be a brilliant, well-worded speech. And that's okay. Giving your best isn't about being the best, but about doing what you can. And if that's a mound of barely coherent words, or a puked up chunk of cringe-worthy dialogue, at least it's not a blank page. 

This post is a little short and a lot ramble-y, but I just want to say that everything you do doesn't have to be perfect. There's a whole lot of stuff we wouldn't get done if we waited for perfection. There are quite a few blog posts I've skipped, quite a few days I didn't edit, because I was waiting for that great feeling to come, that inner strength that makes me feel like I can write, I can do this. But if we wait for perfection, we'll never get anywhere. Sometimes, we have to settle for a little bit of mediocrity. 

What helps me is to remember, I'm doing this for more than just looking good. It's not about how people will fawn over my books someday (which would be super cool). It's not about how someone will sit back and think, man, that was a really enlightening post. It's not about how we look, but what we do. What matters is the effort you put forward, and if it isn't great, then at least you tried, and there's always tomorrow. And you can try again and again, and the more you try, the stronger you get. 

Edit because you love your story. Blog because you love your readers, and want to share your heart with them. Don't worry about who will like and dislike your content. Just create, and let go. Show up, and give your best, whatever that may be. 

How is nano going for you? Are you struggling with perfectionism? If you blog, how has your blogging been treating you? Are you still plowing on, full of energy, or are you struggling to come up with content? Give me your thoughts! 

<3

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15 comments

  1. I struggle through most of my writing, but follow through and a little bit a day really does get you through it. Beautiful post!

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    1. Thank you! You're so right--a little bit every day really adds up in the long run :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. <3 I totally feel you, so often it's a couple of hours before my blog post is meant to go up, and I need /something/ to put out there. I don't schedule ahead, I can't. Whatever I blog about, is exactly what's on my mind as it's posted. So don't worry, I love posts like this, that are straight from the heart. Reading someone else's honest, heart-felt post is more important to me than one that shines with polished charm. <3

    And I believe you have made progress on your writing this year! From what you've told me, I think you've discovered where you want to take Dream Walkers, learned about MG structure, and a dozen other things. :) *hugs* I'm rooting for you, always! <3 <3 <3

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    1. Aw <3 Thank you so much! You're so encouraging and lovely! *hugs back* Same goes to you! I'm a huge fan of All Things Melissa <3

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  3. Ohhh this post really speaks to me right now because my whole YEAR has felt very low creatively...like I've wanted to write and develop ideas but I keep hitting roadblocks. I know first drafts don't have to be perfect, but I always secretly want them to be.πŸ˜‚It's such a good reminder to just ENJOY the creation, even when it's not perfect. It's a start! Everything can start small and a bit crumbly, but there's only upwards to go from there. :') Anyway, I hope you get some words written during Camp that you really love and boost your creative tank!

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    1. "Even when it's not perfect, it's a start." That's SO BEAUTIFUL CAN I FRAME IT ON MY WALL PLEASE? Ahhh <3

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  4. Thanks for sharing this; my Camp NaNo is going just about the same. I'm editing, but barely making any progress. I think the NaNoWriMo atmosphere is easier when you can write with reckless abandon, but once I move into editing I get all the pressures of "this must be perfect or else you're wasting your time." Not very helpful.
    I'm also trying to refill my creative well, for blogging and writing. I had hoped Camp would've done that, but I'm not sure it did.
    Anyway, I hope you get inspiration soon! I love reading your posts, whether they're lengthy, intellectual, encouraging, or rambly!

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    1. YESYESYES. I agree completely. I remember my first nano--it flew by and I wrote faster than I knew I could. And then when Camp nano came around, I set a huge goal cause I thought I could do it ... and I failed miserably. I had no idea the difference it would make in nano when you edited rather than first drafted. Finding your pace is so important in every stage!

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  5. This is a very powerful encouraging words. Sometimes we need to say this to ourselves just to get through something. Thanks!

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  6. I absolutely agree with you dear. Writing is a talent and it takes a lot of effort and time to do so. The most most important in everything you do is to give your best. Thanks for your honest thoughts.

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  7. Yeah absolutely! This is for everyone that has a dream. A dream that needs to be fulfilled. Love this blog, please keep posting!

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  8. I definitely agree with you. Thanks for sharing your deep thoughts with us.

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  9. Yeah! In everything we do we have to give our all. Give the best!

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  10. " Giving your best isn't about being the best, but about doing what you can." This is definitely true. Thanks for this thoughts

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  11. everything you do doesn't have to be perfect..I agree as long as you loved what your doing thats enoug.

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