Eight Ways to Love Your Work
1. Read your work aloud to yourself and listen--not for brilliant writing, but for warmth or honesty in your words and images, or anything else that you value.
2. Reward yourself for the time you spend writing. Remember that most true writing success comes because of commitment, not luck or perfectionism. Stickability is precious for us all and deserves our love.
3. Create an inviting atmosphere for writing, perhaps putting a plant or two on your desk, or a photo of a loved one, or a scented candle that you light when you sit down. This way you reward the act of writing, and create a sense of specialness…or even sacredness, if you desire.
4. Read your work to a loved one, but not necessarily for critique. Ask them to tell you 2 or 3 things that they like about the piece. This can help you to remember that your work contains beauty, even in its early stages.
5. Articulate your attachment to the project, in words -- perhaps aloud or on paper. Remind yourself of why you are committed to this project and why you are determined to nurture it.
6. Read books that express the beauty of writing as an art, such as Anais Nin's A Woman Speaks or Brenda Ueland's If you Want to Write. This will remind you to appreciate the value in the act of creation.
7. When you know that you might be facing a difficult but important critique, plan to reward yourself afterwards. This kind of comfort is a great way of protecting yourself from overload and also getting perspective on the situation.
8. Collect inspiring quotes from your author and artist heroes -- ones that uplift you and remind you that you're part of a writing family that stretches back in time and will continue into the future. For instance, here is one of my favorites -- a quote from a writer, but not necessarily a quote that is just about writing: "Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." --Anais Nin
For those who want to take these notions further in a supportive community, I'm running a course called Love Your Work on December 6th. Come and join us!
And until then, how do you already love your work?
Image by David Vignoni (http://icon-king.com) [LGPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html) or LGPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sue Williams is co-founder of Here Booky Booky (herebookybooky.com) where authors' works are made into beautiful books. With a background in psychology, education, and online marketing, she is an instructor and confidence coach at Grub Street and has published her short stories at a variety of magazines and journals including Narrative (where she also worked as an editor), Salamander, the Yalobusha Review, and elsewhere. Under her pen name, Sue is agented, has published a novel and several collections, writes columns on sexuality and spirituality, and also runs an indie press. As Sue, she works as a marketing assistant for branding and marketing expert Dorie Clark, and also coaches writers who are looking to build their confidence and platforms. Find out more at www.herebookybooky.com and www.suewilliams.co.ukSee other articles by Susan Williams