Cut yourself some slack!
I totally understand that feeling of wavering faith in your talent and/or lack of inspiration. I am digging my way out of a two year dry spell myself. The last three years have been ....trying. Does that word even begin to cover it? NO... not really. I've been dealing with the same things many of you do, family health and relationship issues. I am blessed to have made it out the other side, a bit worse for the wear, but marriage intact. And although we often survive these life altering events, our creative juices dry up simply because the emotional juices take up all the space in your life. And... that's okay. It is what you need at the time, and although it may stall you and whatever your passion is for a short time (or long time), your calling will be there when you are ready to pick it back up. That's the beauty of a calling. It isn’t going anywhere because it is part of who you are. It may emerge on the other side of the path you're walking a changed thing, that's because you have changed. But it will still be there waiting for you.
So as I sit here keyboard in hand, facing the annual writer's event NANOWRIMO, an intimidating tradition even among the most seasoned writers, I began to listen to the voices in my head that were telling me.... yes of course I have voices in my head, I'm a writer, there are voices, arguments, pasionate kisses and murderous intentions all rolling around together in there, all hours of the day, but I digress.... the voices were particularly harsh telling me there was no way I was ready to complete a novel in a month. And I began to listen. And then I began to worry they were right. Until I realized, all I had to do was cut myself some slack. My creative juices are just starting to move again. No need to let this goal wring me dry again.
I decided to jump in and see what happened. Many writers don't finish NANOWRIMO. It's a tall order. Much like a Marathon, the goal is not to win necessarily, although that would be fantastic, but to make it to the finish line. The point of participating is to focus and do as much as you can in an allotted time. I can do it, and enjoy it, and be satisfied with my outcome, whatever that is, because I am cutting myself some slack. That doesn’t mean I am giving up before I start. It just means that I will do what I can. (Insert goal setting pep talk of your choice here. As important as goals are, that’s not what this post is about today)
I recently saw professional blogger/ social media maven/ productivity guru Alexis aka MissTrenchcoat talk about taking a break this past summer while she moved. She had a very similar view and cemented my beliefs. Her point was that sometimes you have to take a step back to make room for growth. Brilliant analogy.
But I will take it one step further. Sometimes you need to brave the storm and not worry about the rebuild until the wind stops blowing. Sometimes, my dear readers, the fact that you are even willing to get up and try again after all is said and done, IS the actual victory. In the meantime cut yourself some slack.