The last two weeks have been a good demonstration of why I don’t set firm resolutions, as I discussed in my last post. Three days after I posted that, I tested positive for Covid. I’m fine, don’t worry, but my productivity has been non-existent since.

Between the brain fog and simple exhaustion, my return to good writing habits has been delayed. I missed writing a post last week (something I’ve almost entirely avoided), I haven’t done any creative writing, I haven’t started submitting stories, and I haven’t even begun to look at the suggestions for my novel that my gracious alpha readers have provided me.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been frustrated with myself. While the site title does say I tell lies, that’s not the kind of lie I’m here for. I’ve definitely chided myself for my lack of productivity. The good news is that my approach to resolutions is working. Instead of telling myself I’m a failure because I missed a blog update, I motivated myself to write today with a gentler “You felt bad for missing last week, so how about we don’t repeat that?” And ta dah! We have a blog post today and only minimal guilt.

I have more guilt over the fact I haven’t reviewed the notes I’ve gotten back from my alpha readers. Most are still working their way through the novel, but two have provided me their commented versions, and I’m scared to even look. It’s not about the content – I’m not worried about them telling me things suck, or that I should quit while I’m ahead or some other such nonsense. It’s about the work. I’ve written the book once, and then edited the whole thing. I’m just not looking forward to rewriting it again, and I know I’m going to have to no matter how kind or correct the suggestions are. Guilt gets tied to that because I’m so incredibly grateful to the people who agreed to look at it and give me feedback, so I feel like their work deserves more immediate attention than I’m giving it.

I’m going through my usual process of trying to temper my inner monologue and train those thoughts into gentler forms. I’m reminding myself it’s been a grand total of three weeks that I’ve had one set of notes, and I spent two of those weeks ill. The other set of notes I only got back two days ago. I need to chill. I’ve thanked the people involved profusely and their notes will 100% be reviewed in the near future. I’ve just had some setbacks, it’s not the end of the world.

My brain just wants to catastrophize everything, and think that a few weeks of (understandably) reduced productivity means the end of my writing career before it even began. Even fully conscious of my tendency to do this, it takes time to break the spiral of negative thoughts and get back on a better track. But this post is proof of progress. The setbacks are temporary; I’m a clever girl and I always find my way through. This time will be no exception, and exciting things are coming, I’m sure of it.

2 thoughts on “Setbacks

  1. Uncle Joe

    Do not dispare. Persistence will overcome. Let me know how to get a copy. I lost your 1st info. Hope your health improves quickly.
    Say hello to Jacki Joan for me.

  2. Mom

    Great post! I’m so glad you’re working through being less hard on yourself. Sadly, you come by that honestly, you’ve probably noticed that I’m super hard on myself too 🙂

    I’ve done my first re-read of your awesome novel and although I do have some comments, suggestions and grammatical edits, as you work through them, you need to know that I believe your novel is fundamentally excellent work and I really can’t wait for the next instalment…

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