You’ve probably seen the saying or heard the advice that one of the best things you can be is your own best friend. For some reason, this phrase re-entered my life this week and has me pondering what that means when you’re a writer. Because let’s face it, when you’re in the middle of drafting, and sometimes on the dark, lonely days writing can create, you could darn well use a best friend!
So what does it mean if that best friend is you?
This week, I’ve been both struggling with a current WIP where I can’t seem to get a handle on the overall through-story (though I know lots of little bits and details), and I’ve been considering what my overall business plan is for the year in terms of managing and advancing my own career, and frankly, it leaves me a bit nervous.
The wisdom behind the idea of being your own best friend is that sometimes, no matter if you have the most supportive friends and family around you…sometimes they’re just not going to get it. And the one who has to give you the best advice for the situation, the one who will encourage and also challenge you, the one who will tell you the truth when you really need to hear it: that person is yourself. But, since we tend to be mean SOB’s when it comes to giving ourselves advice, far better to pretend we were giving our best friend that advice (because I certainly hope we’re nicer to them than we are when it comes to our own internal voice.)
This means today I can tell myself with confidence:
- I know I have talent and I know what I’m doing as a writer…even if that doesn’t mean I can’t always continue to learn and evolve.
- I’ve solved harder problems before, and I will figure out what’s holding me back with this current WIP and, eventually, I’ll make it sing.
- There’s no sense worrying about things I can’t control. Instead, I should focus on the things I can control – like submitting my best work, and continuing to write and create new work.
- Who I am as a writer today isn’t the same person I was as a writer last year, nor who I’ll be next year. And that’s both okay, and wonderful as I continue to grow and evolve.
- Yes, some of the things I need to do this year scare me. But even if I fail spectacularly, it won’t kill me. It’s not how many times I fall, but how many times I get back up again (Yes, I think my inner-best-friend likes watching Batman Begins.) 😉
- The advice I give my five-year-old is no less true for myself. No, you won’t be good at everything to start with – but with practice you’ll improve. No, not everyone will like you – but that doesn’t mean you won’t make friends. No, you’re not perfect, but that’s okay, no one is, and that’s what makes us human.
So what about you? Have you been trying to be your own best friend these days? I hope so. How’s it working out?
Thanks for stopping by, and wishing you a terrific week and happy writing!