Me to my brain:
Perfection is a toxic poison that strangles out my creativity.
And really, it’s less about perfection in the end product of my writing–and more about attempting to be expectations I’ve set up for myself of what I think others can do–or think I should do.
It’s a theme that has followed me throughout my adult life working first in restaurants, then as a teacher, and later in insurance.
A theme I didn’t truly understand before learning I’m autistic.
I’ve always needed to demonstrate my abilities at work. Striving to be the best. Not to overshadow others, but more to appear capable. I’ve had a fear of seeming unable to manage: work or life.
And as a result, I work myself to the point of exhaustion.
It’s a trend that followed me into writing.
Setting schedules and deadlines I can’t possibly manage.
It’s not a bad thing, necessarily.
It is when you’re ignoring your health.
Autistics, at least from my personal experience as one, tend to battle inner ableism. This little voice that tells me I’ve not only got to be at the same level as non-autistic authors but better. It’s poison.
It really is.
The same inner voice that tells me I don’t need help or accommodation when I do.
It eats away at your accomplishments and makes missed goals or deadlines seem like monumentally massive failures.
This year, I managed to almost double my word count.
Brilliant, right? Except not, I didn’t take the breaks between projects that I usually do. I’ve ended up not enjoying writing as usual.
And the last two novels I’ve worked on have been a painful slog until the bitter end.
Next year, one of my biggest focuses will be to enjoy myself with writing.
Deadlines are important and so are word counts, but I can’t write myself into a serious health issue again.