One of the tightropes a writer must walk is knowing when to be tough on yourself and when to give yourself a break.
Toughness means having the guts to challenge your ideas, to examine them for holes and contrivance, to see if they can withstand scrutiny or whether they’ll crumble, etc.
Kindness means testing your ideas without killing them. Giving them a chance to bounce back. Letting them grow without grinding them to dust.
Toughness means pushing through the writing of your rough draft until you have it completed. It means not surrendering, not quitting until that task is done. Fatigue, worry, doubt, and interruptions must be withstood in order to keep going.
Kindness means understanding that you will lose your way at times but you’ll always find it again. It means knowing that it’s natural to become tired. That’s nothing to beat yourself up about.
Toughness means facing your mistakes, even when it means jettisoning a scene, chapter, or maybe 100 pages.
Kindness means being glad you found the error and can fix it, and not calling yourself stupid for having erred in the first place.
Toughness means writing the best story and characters you can.
Kindness means knowing that we aren’t machines. Some of our stories will be better than others, and that’s just the way things are.
Walk the rope, friends.
Walk the rope.