Do you know Glennon Doyle? If not, I highly recommend her blog, Momastery. She is one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever come across and her words are GOLD. She just always knows the RIGHT. THING. TO. SAY. And exactly how to say it. She creates truly beautiful, insightful pieces.
You could be easily think that she must toil away for hours and hours on these blog posts, wearing herself out on every little detail until it’s just perfect. But here is what I love about her. In one of her posts (Momastery: Rules for a Creative Life), she talks about how, in order to stay positive and keep your energy flowing, you have to know when to let your work go and release it to the world, then leave it without looking back. Work on it to get it to as high a standard as possible then wish it well and don’t feel the need to defend it.
WOW. This is mind-blowing to me. Having worked directly with many authors and artists, and being a writer myself, I know the struggle of stepping away from your work, leaving it naked and defenseless. My experiences as an editor, though, have taught me that holding it too long, too close will suffocate it while wearing you down in the process. You must let out your words to breathe, both for the sake of your work and your ability to create more. Getting that balance right is important.
So imagine my delight when Glennon agreed with me! Well, not personally, but you know what I mean. And she had the added inspiration for this new social media age of “Don’t read/respond to the comments.” Wise advice for a very prolific writer! Can you imagine trying to be creative while bearing the weight of all the negativity that people unleash in comment sections? Not possible. Of course, taking constructive criticism from someone you trust who can help you raise your work to the next level (such as an editor like me, or a close friend who can be objective), but no one said you need to subject yourself to endless public debates on the relative quality of your work (or personal character).
So remember – growing as a writer isn’t a solitary experience. It involves sharing your work, knowing when to say “good-bye,” and when to move on to your next piece so that your creative spark doesn’t fizzle.