Geetanjali Mukherjee

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Taking Stock

Last few days I have been very annoyed with myself, for not really making good progress on my current work-in-progress. I have been procrastinating more than usual, and eating more junk food to compensate, and generally feeling like I haven’t been putting my best foot forward.

Trying to cheer myself up, I was talking to my mom, who asked me if I was being hard on myself. To which I mentally replied – ‘no, I don’t think I'm being hard enough’. Then she told me about something difficult she accomplished recently – and that given the obstacles she faced and the constraints she was under, she did the best job she could under the circumstances. And when she said that, I realised – I was upset because I was comparing to myself to other people, vague others who were probably writing 5000 words a day and completing their books in 3 weeks. Which I wasn’t – nowhere close. I had to instead be content that I was making much better progress than I had been previously – at least I was writing every day, or almost every day.
And then I looked up my stats for this year – my cobbled together spreadsheet listing everything I have written so far this year – and realized that my total word count for this year till date – is more than 290,000 words! Which is an awesome feat for me, compared to any other year so far. And granted, not all of that is great or publishable, but it means I'm making progress, I'm getting better as a writer.

It’s easy to compare to ourselves with others – there is always someone better, prettier, richer than us. The only way to maintain sanity is to keep taking action, keep making progress, and sometimes take stock – look back on that long road and see how far you’ve come. Stop, drink an ice-cream soda, and then start again – renewed and refreshed by taking stock of how many steps you have already taken.
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