Forgive yourself (as if there’s anything to forgive)

Sometimes you're productive, and other times you just want your belly rubbed.

Oh sure, I’m all WRITE WRITE NEVER STOP WRITING over here, but guess what? Guess who dropped the ball on her own project for over a week? Guess who has two thumbs and is pointing at herself? This one!

I have all manner of excuses; would you like to hear some? I was traveling! I was, uh, tired? Then I was back home, and my family needed me! And on and on.

It’s tough to get back into the routine of writing every day when you drop it for even one day, so getting back to my project after ten whole days has been …  interesting. When it comes to this particular project, I never read back what I wrote on the previous days (because then I could waste hours editing, and I’m not ready to edit, not yet) so today when I finally got back to work, I pretty much wrote with no idea what had come before. I just couldn’t remember. When I eventually get to editing, I’m sure there’s going to be a weird transition in this area. It’s not the worst thing to have to contend with.

So it’s rough and awkward when you return to work after slacking off, and I don’t recommend it. That said, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s certainly not worth beating yourself up. I did that for years, and it sure as hell does not help your productivity, not even a little. All that self-criticism just drains you of any will to live, much less get on with your work.

And anyway, what does it matter, how you spent your time in the past? There’s not a single thing any of us can do about it. The moment you excoriate yourself for not doing the work you should have been doing for the past week, or month, or decade, you’re wasting your creative energies in telling a story about yourself. Drop it, and tell a better story.

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