Never Give Up19:00
In every creative person’s life, there comes a moment where you hate your work. Maybe you’ve felt this a few times before. I know I have. It’s that moment when you hate what you’ve made, you doubt that you’ve got what it takes, and when it feels like everything you make comes out as a pile of scrap. And maybe you just want to throw it all away. For me, this usually comes when I’m deep in edits, or when I’m stuck in an arrangement and I can’t find the right notes to go on. In that moment, we’re so ready to give up.
Yes, what you make isn’t perfect. The words you’ve written aren’t quite right. That’s ok. They’re not meant to be.
Yes, you’ve got a lot left to learn. You’re not a master yet. That’s ok. No one is.
Yes, you’re tired of looking at your work, judging it, hating it for its flaws and imperfections. That’s ok. Everyone judges their own work harshly.
Yes, you’re looking at the work someone else has made and it looks so much better than yours. That’s ok. Someone is looking at yours and wondering how you got to be so good.
You hate your work, because you’ve seen it so often. You’ve read every word a thousand times. You’ve struggled in the darkest hours of the night to find the right way to express the millions of thoughts that swirl in your head. You’ve been staring at those lines on a page, searching for the flaws until they’re all you see. You are so close to your work that you miss the beauty of your story in the details of commas. All you can remember are the problems, the imperfections, the wrongness. So that’s what you think all your work is.
Take a step back.
Take a breath. Close your eyes.
Go away for a while. See something else. Go outside and see the trees. Sit in silence and hear music, birds, or the people around you.
Take some time away from what you’re working on. Maybe a few minutes, a few hours, days, or weeks even. However long you need. It’ll be waiting for you when you get back. Don’t give up. Just step back and let yourself forget for a little while. Come back with a fresh mind and a brighter outlook. Read it like a story, not an editing exercise. Your words have a beauty to them that you miss when you sit so close.
Your work has merit. Your work is valuable. Your work matters.
Maybe today you want to give up. But please, don’t. Because while you see the cracks in what you’re making, we see the glorious whole. And trust me, it is beautiful. It is worth it. You are worth it.
Please, never, ever give up.