I learned a lesson this week, when my GED results came back, and I think it resonates very well with us as writers.
I’ve been waiting for my GED for months. I took it mid-October, and here it is, early December. Needless to say, I was biting my nails over it all, because even though I had taken my time, and at the time of the test, I’d felt pretty good about how I’d done, during the waiting period, I let that little voice get the best of me.
You know. We all have one. It’s that voice that says we didn’t do well, that we’re not good enough. It’s that voice that tells us that we’re foolish to think we’ll ever make anything of ourselves.
That has been my pitfall since I got my scores back. I walked around thinking I was going to have to retake the tests. I thought I didn’t do very well. I was really depressed about it. I was beginning to doubt my intelligence, and trust me, you don’t want that. (No one is stupid. I don’t care what anybody says.)
Then my scores came, and I realized that my worries were unfounded all this time. I passed everything; I had worried too much, and it was a worry fueled purely by my lack of confidence, and the ever-encroaching doubt I had in myself.
I felt so good about how I did that I stuck a copy on my fridge and I still find myself stopping in front of it many times a day just to look at my scores because I’m proud of how I did. But, I also know it makes me no better than anyone else; test scores aren’t everything. That’s where the keeping-yourself-in-check part comes in.
So I think there’s a real delicate balance that we need to strike between being confident in ourselves, and being proud of our accomplishments, and letting our egos taint that. Everyone should be able to feel good about times when they do well.
The trick is not letting it go to your head, and I think if we, as writers, constantly try to keep our heads on straight, and stay humble throughout the praise we’ll all get eventually if we keep working hard, we’ll have better careers and we’ll be setting better examples for everyone around us.
That’s my two cents. :)