The Difference Between Doing Your Best and Doing Better

by | musings | 4 comments

What do I write about!? Time lately spent rebooting my blog formatting has caused me to revisit the past year’s posts, so I don’t want to make this one about complaints.

There’s been enough of that. Nor do I want to talk about distraction—enough of that, too. (If you’re counting, I’m sorry. Kind of. Thanks for sticking with me!)

But what else is there in my world?!

I’m kidding. I’m kidding . . . but also, I think I did hear that question lightly posed in my mind. Is that who I am? Is Negative Nancy rocking my house?

There’s something easy about sitting in front of this computer and writing things out to a faceless audience. I let my guard down. I think (for some reason) that I can get away with complaining, and that instead of adding negativity to the universe, I’m attracting commiseration and letting other sufferers know they’re not alone.

And maybe there’s some of that going on. Probably. But also probably: I need to focus more on good stuff.

meggan spooning with a white cat

Since this blog is about creative pursuits, I think I feel a need to come back and report to everybody on my progress. Because I’m a strangely masochistic teacher’s pet (even when there is no teacher), I downplay every step of progress with an undercurrent of

“I’m going to get better—I promise I’ll do better next time!”

I suppose I’ve always been this way: pointing out the things I’ve done wrong so that the listener knows that I knowIf I downplay everything, maybe they won’t judge me on actual ability. 

Why is that what I want? Because I’m afraid that my actual ability isn’t enough (not complaining here, just calling a spade a spade).

“I’m not hopeless, I promise! Accept me!”

But although there is a difference between doing your best and knowing you can do better, they are not mutually exclusive. They can exist at the very same time, on the very same project.

I am doing my best, and of course I can do better. But only after I do my best this time around. It’s constant interplay and evolution, the existence of each impossible without the other.

I’m trying to allow more focus on the former than the latter. Appreciating what’s best, not punishing what’s lacking.

open journal of writing

Hey, I got my first agent  rejection for my book (my “platform isn’t big enough”)! And that’s excellent, because every successful person says you need lots of failures to reach success.

I believe that because 1) I must, and 2) it actually seems true based on real peoples’ stories. The failures become the stepping stones. So, I’m throwing this one under my feet and seeing that publishing goal come ever closer.

(I won’t complain, I won’t complain, I won’t complain!)

And really, I do see it as a necessary evil, this rejection business. Like needing shots before a trip to Africa or IBS before you decide to eat better (that’s a weird example).

So that’s where I am. Finding more agents to proposition, wondering if it’s time for me to make some real money while I wait for responses, or instead pursue more writing projects and watch my money ever-dwindle.

But until that decision is made, I have houses and a cat to sit, holidays to brave, and winter to chill with all by my lonesome. At least through December. (not complaining!)


And what’s going on with you? Leave a comment below and get an email when I post something new.


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