Lower your standards. I mean it. Lower your standards.
What’s wrong with being a hard-working, obscure writer? There are a lot of hard-working writers who have amazing bodies of work and hold their heads high every day. What makes you need to be the great American novelist… or nothing else?
Here’s the problem with you. Because you want nothing less than the best, you hold yourself back from the good. The groundwork even. The BETTER.
So go ahead. Lower your standards.
In some things, too high of an opinion of yourself can be a hindrance. Writing is one of those things. In some things, too high of expectations for yourself can also be a hindrance. Writing is one of those things. If you never loosen yourself to be free enough to make mistakes, you’ll never grow in your writing. Mistakes will (and I dare say must) be made on the way to success.
Perfection is an illusion. Perfection will always be a pursuit and never an accomplishment. To accomplish anything you must lower your standards— not completely, just a fraction— and put your hands and mind to work. Real work. Expect calluses.
A fulfilled life and fulfilled mission don’t just fall into your lap. You must pursue it, and work for it, and not make your highest standard your greatest shortcoming.
© 2022 Katie Baker