I’m involved in a new project at home. I’m building a garage onto the house. Last week in 104 degrees of wonderfulness, I sweated my way through framing up the longest wall. My wife was very impressed, to which I responded, “Eh, it’s okay.”
You see I know what I did wrong, and that it took me longer than it would have taken a professional. Those things eat at me. And yet, to my wife, step mother, and others not involved in the trade, the job looks just fine.
During a moment of quiet reflection while up on a ladder a few days later, I thought about that and about something an old friend of mine once said, “You don’t actually have to know what you’re doing, you just have to make it look like you know what you’re doing.”
I wonder if sometimes we’re a little too hard on ourselves as writers, artists, and just people in general. Maybe we bottle things up, don’t try as hard or put ourselves out there on the line because we know what right is supposed to look like and what we’re producing just isn’t it. But for all anyone else knows, we’re professionals.
So there’s your thought for the day. Are you being a little too critical when it comes to your writing or other areas in your life? Would people notice the imperfections if you weren’t constantly pointing them out? And are you more likely to let a minor mistake slide when a “professional” makes it? If so, let your own mistakes slide. Learn from them, but don’t let them hold you back.