Have I ever told you that I’m a HUGE fan of Accidental Creative?
I love the podcast hosted by Todd Henry. He’s essentially the Jedi Master of creativity and flow and how to have a creative team. His podcasts are inspirational if you’re a creative in any capacity. I know it’s inspired me when I’ve lost direction or just need a boost.
His latest podcast, Mind Your Baseline, make me stop and think. In fact, I probably played it four times to make sure I was digesting the message.
In his latest, he talks about how expectations can increase to the point of disappointment. He starts it off with a story about coming home from a speaking engagement when everything went wrong including missing a connecting flight home.
But then his wife sets him straight. He’s not having a bad day. He’s doing exactly what he wanted and what he set out to do — helping people through his speaking engagement.
This happens to writers all the time. It’s because, frankly, not one can be harder on us than ourselves. We expect a lot from ourselves but are happy with just being able to call ourselves writers.
Sometimes, we have expectations that can make the picture in front of us hazy. I’m writing but I’m not getting paid. I finished a manuscript but agents aren’t paying attention to me. I self published a book but no one is buying it except my friends and family. And among all this we forget one important thing…we’re writing. We are doing what we dreamed of which is to create.
Yes, there are set backs. And ideally you want there to be few setbacks, I know. You want to quit your job and write full time and live off your writing. Hey, I KNOW. But your complaining is a luxury. How many people out there wished that they could finish their manuscript or were brave enough to send it out into the world? I know of many people who say they want to write a book but can’t get past writing grocery lists.
Don’t think this is a reality check from yours truly. I’m the worst offender of this. Just last week a friend of mine had to check me on my first world problems. She made me realize that I was luckier than most and had the ability to change my situation if I wanted to.
She made it real clear that there would be no complaining to her about my life. I have my health, my family, my friends and my work. Everything else will work itself out.
Thanks for the lesson, Todd! Great one to remember when the chips are down.
Icess Fernandez Rojas is a writer, blogger, teacher, and journalist. Her commentary has appeared in The Guardian and on Huffington Post Latino Voices. Her fiction has been published in literary journals/anthologies such as Minvera Rising and Soul’s Road. Her first book, the beginning of the Jennie Manning series, will come out next year. In addition to writing, Icess teaches fiction writing classes. Want more on what it takes to be a writer? Sign up or contact her and ask a question.