Wednesday, April 26

What If I ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

Writing is hard.

I know, this is a revelation, one you've never heard before. Right? So I'll repeat it: writing is hard.

And I don't mean just the getting down of the words on paper parts - although that is a whole other kind of hard. I mean the rest of it - wondering if this book will resonate with readers (meaning, will it sell), wondering if you have anything useful to say to readers, dealing with bad reviews, dealing with good reviews, dealing with the 'what ifs' (what if I indie publish? what if I trad-publish? what if, instead of taking this opportunity I take this one?). The what ifs will kill you, I mean it. Especially since, usually, we take the negative side of the what if.

What if ____ goes badly? What if ____ would have been a better choice? What if, what if, what if.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about self-care for writers, and this isn't that kind of a post. It's also not a different kind of post. I guess I'm still thinking about my friend and that review a little bit, but I'm also thinking about my friend who doesn't write, but who talks down to herself a lot, and I'm thinking about the ways I talk down to myself, and I'm thinking a little bit about Margie's post from last week about albatrosses, and I'm thinking that we need to do better for ourselves. 'We' meaning not just writers, but women in general. And I'm focusing on women because I don't see (or hear) the men in my life talking about the what ifs in their life. They pick and path and they go with it, and if they decide to change that path, they change it...without comparisons, and probably with some bit of trepidation, but without the comparison model that we women use.

I don't even think it's our fault - it's the way we are approached from a very young age. Teachers
compare us to other girls in class (usually the smart, quiet, responsible girls), boys compare us to other girls (usually the pretty, boobalicious girls)...and we start to find fault with everything from the length of our eyelashes to the size of our shoes. And that carries over into our work - we start looking at how Author X is doing and wondering why we aren't doing the same things.

We don't treat our friends this way. In fact, for many of us (me included) it's so much easier to see the strength or beauty or resilience in our friends than it is to see even the smallest positive part of ourselves.

So, here is my hope and my challenge to you, and it actually comes from a kick-butt woman in the fitness world: Let's start talking to ourselves the way we would speak to the best of our friends. Let's be encouraging. Let's let the little things go. Let's be the dreamers and believers. Let's be courageous without wondering what happens if...Let's free ourselves to be successful in a way that only we can be.

Let's be better to ourselves.                                                                                                ~Kristina


  1. Great post, Kristi! And a good reminder to all if us when we let our inner self critic speak too loudly.

  2. I love this post, and you are so right on all counts.

  3. Love, love this! I think as important as it is to do this for ourselves, we need to teach our daughters this as well!

    1. I so agree, and it's one of the things we're focusing on with bebe.

  4. Kristi, this post is so on-point for me, and for a lot of other women, I believe. There was a time in my life when my self-talk was very negative. I would never have spoken to a friend the way I spoke to myself. Now that I'm older, and I hope a little wiser, I'm kinder to myself, but I still have moments of negativity. Thank you for the reminder.