I have this nasty habit of being internally a downer. Like, if depressed people saw my thoughts they'd probably ask me to call a help line and feel suddenly not so depressed. I'm hard on my self to the point that rocks look soft. I judge myself and hold myself to such a high standard that even Superman goes "dang girl, you got problems". I can't help it. It's the horrible Virgo aspect in me. Normally when something bad happens to me it makes me mad and fume about it internally to the point that the one little bad thing is what sets in motion more bad things. I believe the term for it is called Endless Circle of Doom.
But today I broke that cycle. Today I said HELL NO to the temptation of my old voices. I refused to listen to the voices whispering in my head like insidious reverse Care Bares.
"You messed up. You're such a loser."
"You're probably going to have a bad day now. Might as well accept bad things'll happen to you."
"People suck. This day sucks. Screw other people!"
Such nasty voices. But today as I heard those evil words start up in my head I stopped them. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I'm in charge of how I feel. So to turn the tide of doom and gloom I went and got lunch and In-N-Out (that's right people who don't live in SoCal, be jealous! I live two minutes away from those delicious burgers!). I pulled up to the drive through and ordered my lunch. Then I noticed the person behind me looked stressed and then it hit me. The only way to make my day better was to make some one ELSE'S day better.
So I paid for his lunch without him knowing.
I sat there waiting for my burger grinning like an idiot, super excited I was making a total stranger's day. The voices of evil Care Bares stopped. The clouds parted. The more I thought on it the better I felt. My day may suck, but there are people's days who sucks worse. And now, somewhere in the world there is a person who had a bad day who is now having a good day. My only wish is that the guy I paid for will pay it forward some how to some one who looks like they're having a bad day too.
You may ask yourself: Katie, what does THIS story have to with writing!? Isn't this a writer's blog!? You're right. So let me throw in my two cents about how this applies to writing! Instead of being hard on yourself when you can't write, instead of saying that you're a terrible writer and throwing your computer against a wall remember: You're in charge of your life and emotions. YOU. Not your characters. I can't tell you how many times writing affects whether I have a good day or bad day. One wrong sentence written and I can't write the rest of the day. I become incredibly pessimistic and won't write for days, telling myself I'm a total hack. I'll never make it.
Don't do that. Don't be me. Hell, I shouldn't be me when I do that!
Instead, I'm going to remind myself (and you!) that you ARE a talented writer. Than you CAN do this. That just because you have a bad sentence doesn't mean your a bad writer and your story belongs to used as kindling. No. Be nice to yourself, because obviously your day and work isn't. So if that happens, write something else, something fun. Something that can bring a smile to your face and allow you to get back to writing. Or, say something nice to another writer and encourage them. It'll help them, it'll help you, and who knows, you both might get some really good writing out of it!