A couple of days ago, I was on a book writing call and these three words arose in response to the various creativity issues plaguing the writers on the call.
Although I know it doesn't always feel like it, wherever you are with your writing is the perfect place for you to be. Since you're always learning and growing, the difficulties and disappointments you face are an important part of the process of becoming the writer that you want to be. Acknowledging where you are, even (or especially) when you don't like what's happening, frees you to move forward.
It's also important to acknowledge what's working well. It's easy to get so focused on fixing what isn't working about your writing, or your book, that you skim right past the words that flowed easily, or the outline you were working on that fell perfectly into place. Acknowledge it all.
As a writer it's helpful to allow your creativity to flow, and not flow. Allow yourself to be wherever you are with no "shoulds," with no beating yourself up for missing a day's writing. The more you allow--the more you forgive yourself and accept the unproductive days, the terrible first drafts, and even the missed deadlines--the more creative you'll be.
I know that sounds paradoxical, but self-judgment and self-criticism shut down creativity, while self-acceptance and allowing opens it up. I'm not saying that it doesn't matter if you write or not, I'm saying that commitment and productivity flow more easily from a positive and supportive state of mind.
It's also helpful to allow yourself to dream. To believe that success is possible, and that you have the determination and talent to finish your book and be a published author. Allow it all.
Once you've acknowledged what's happening in your experience, and have allowed it to be whatever it is, it's time to bask in appreciation. Don't wait until you've written the perfect prose before beginning to appreciate your writing. Appreciate it, now.
Appreciate your creativity. Appreciate that you valued yourself enough to sit down and write. Appreciate what you've written, whether it's finished, "good enough," or not. And let your appreciation lead to celebration. Celebrate every completion, every victory, every writing session--no matter how small. Because those small completions add up, over time, to a finished book.
Appreciation is incredibly powerful. The more you appreciate yourself, and what's in your life, the better you'll feel. And the better you feel, the more you'll follow your heart. And the more you follow you heart, the more your writing dreams will come true.
** What words help you write?