Not so long ago, I was an aspiring author. My blog was, and still is, JaclynAurore.com. But at some point, I stopped writing. I’d make excuses, sure.
Mostly, I just stopped thinking I was good enough, or that what I had to say was good enough. Who would want to read my stories?
After several failed attempts to write, I quit. I didn’t just quit writing books, but I quit blogging too. It all became so difficult.
A few years later, I realized that this is due to my anxiety as well. I find it very hard to make mistakes.
Take something as simple as colouring a picture. This is supposed to be good for easing anxiety, but I don’t find this true.
I bought a bunch of books to colour that were for adults. Just colour… I can do it. Except I can’t.
I’m afraid to make mistakes. I’m afraid to put the wrong colour next to another colour and have it clash, or look horrible.
It’s not so much about colouring outside the lines, but that’s a small fear also. It’s mostly about not liking the end result, so not even trying from the beginning.
Colouring is one method of coping.
For those of you who suffer from anxiety and are told to colour as relief, go ahead, if it makes you happy. If it provides you comfort, then yes, I support this.
But for me, it just didn’t. It caused even more anxiety.
If you’re like me, and the thought of colouring a picture is stressful, that’s ok. Don’t give up. Make mistakes.
Make art you don’t like. Use the ugly unused crayons instead of the pretty popular pastels.
This is my advice. See what a mess you can make on that piece of paper, and then start fresh and do it again. Colour a whole book this way.
And if you don’t get some enjoyment out of doing it “wrong”, that’s ok too. No one will see this mess but you.
You don’t have to like it, but you have to try. Promise yourself, that you will try. Because that is the key, here. If you quit before you start, you’ll never know what you’re capable of overcoming!
Getting back to writing though, it doesn’t seem like I can follow this same principle. I did try. I did make mistakes. But I couldn’t get past them.
I hated what I wrote and so I just stopped. I erased everything and pretended I didn’t even start.
This is me trying again.
The problem I needed to overcome is the same as when colouring a picture. I can’t expect to turn out a masterpiece on my first try. I also can’t quit before putting pen to paper.
I’m going to write, but I can’t always promise to write well. A few of these posts might just be me colouring with all the ‘ugly’ crayons in the box.
But you know what? Ugly crayons need lovin’ too. Who’s to say we won’t make something beautiful out of something traditionally ugly?
We can do this; we just have to try. We have to make mistakes and embrace them. We have to try some more.
We need to know that we won’t be perfect. We won’t even be close to perfect on our first attempt.
So here is what I’m going to do. Every day this week I will colour one picture. I will use all the markers or crayons I have without any rhyme or reason.
At the end of the week, I should have seven pictures to share.
I might even have a story next week about what I learned while doing this. I might not. What I will have is seven coloured pictures and no excuses.
Maybe you can do this too. Colour something and tell me if it helps in any way.
Share this with me, either here or on Facebook. Spread the word. Let’s see if we can get everyone colouring. Make mistakes, and share those too!
It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s not ok to give up without trying.