I recently decorated my girls’ bedroom. I’d started painting it in September (Jungle book theme) and left it unfinished until now. Why? I told myself i didn’t have the time. Possibly true, but I’d chosen to prioritise my time in another way. Why? Because I was afraid of it not being good enough. That I’d see the not good enough painted Mowgli or baby elephant every day, and every day I’d remind myself that I was not good enough.
It’s the same with my writing. I wasn’t good enough to write a book! I released Little Bolton on the understanding with myself that I’d give it a go and if I wasn’t good enough, I’d go and find something else to do instead. So, the book was released and I didn’t send it for ‘official’ reviews or try to market it. Because marketing it, making it known to many people, would show the world how not good enough I actually was. So, those who found my book randomly on Amazon and were kind enough to leave a review (I love you forever!) ALL gave me 5 stars. Others emailed me or told me personally how much they loved my book. Even my mother-in-law whose English is sketchy and didn’t understand many of the words, very animatedly wanted to discuss the characters and probe me about what happened next, especially about the two she “loved”. Yet I still didn’t believe I was good enough. I also heard from some friends that they loved the book and would write a review but they “weren’t good at that kind of thing.” Again, the old ‘not good enough!’ So many of us suffer from it. All I can say to you my friends, is that whatever you write IS good enough. If you only write one sentence along the lines of “I loved the book, couldn’t put it down”, I can guarantee you the author will be doing a victory dance around the kitchen (and I like to think that’s every author, not just me).
It’s the same for me with writing a blog. I’m a writer so I’m leaving myself open for people to criticise my turn of phrase, grammar, occasional Swedish sentence structure, and spelling. So instead, my blog entries are very few and far between as I tend to run away from problems. As do many. But who decided we are not good enough? Who told us this? I look at my girls who are too young to be in school yet and they have a very healthy self confidence. I do hope I can help them enough for that not to change. So, to do that, I need to change instead. I need to stop my limited thinking and show them anything is possible. I saw a quote recently that said “There are people who are less qualified than you doing the things you want to do, simply because they have decided to believe in themselves. Period.” I see this in the books I read. There are badly written books that sell well. Most books, even the ones I think are badly written, I usually read until the end because I want to give the book a chance. There is one exception to that. One very famous book written by a very famous author that has made millions, I could not bring myself to finish. The language and storyline were so irritating that I gave up. I judged that author as not being good enough, but that was crazy as they have sold more copies of that book than I suppose I ever will of mine. So, being good enough as an author is very subjective. And I’m sure that author (from seeing them in interviews) thinks they are good enough.
So, I’m picking up the paintbrush again and finishing the Jungle book themed room (my girls don’t seem to have a problem with the baby elephant). In doing that, I’m declaring myself good enough (as in good enough, not perfect), accepting many of my flaws and working on changing others. So now, the next book should get written (if there’s one thing that causes writers block over here, it’s thinking ‘I’m not good enough’), and Little Bolton will get marketed. And if you haven’t written your review yet – you ARE good that that sort of thing. xoxoxo