So I’ve decided to start a new weekly segment on this website, called ‘Tuesday Therapy’. Basically, I’ve been thinking that Tuesday lacks an identity: in the whole scheme of the week, it kinda falls through the cracks. It’s not abhorrent, like Monday; it isn’t a promising hump, like Wednesday; and few of us celebrate its arrival the way we do Friday or Saturday. Apart from being a cheap night at the movies, Tuesday just sort of sits there feeling useless. Inferior. Overshadowed by more popular weekdays. Not even shocking enough to warrant disdain.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that writers — new and established — can often suffer from a case of the Tuesdays when they are evaluating their “success”. It’s not just newbies who sometimes feel like things aren’t moving fast enough, that their writing sucks — or is brilliant, dahling! but overlooked — that everyone else is a Friday or Saturday, universally lauded and showered with caviar and fine champagne, while they themselves are at home churning out words, reheating old pizza for dinner.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the trap of comparing yourself to others, particularly nowadays when we have such immediate access to everyone’s achievements thanks to the incessant stream of updates on Twitter, Facebook, email lists, websites, blogs blogs blogs… So, instead of trying to tell you all that it’s counterproductive to get caught up in such comparisons (even though it is) I thought I’d instead try to pass on a bit of weekly balm for your writing soul.
This first installment of Tuesday Therapy is a piece of invaluable advice that my dear Brain (Angela Slatter) gave me the other day while I was fretting about All the Writing Things That Have to be Done and Dammit They Must Be Done NOW NOW NOW.
“Brain,” she said, ever wise, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about this since then, and how much better it has repeatedly made me feel. Totally freaking brilliant.
Please feel free to share brief snippets of advice with me via email (lisa dot hannett at gmail dot com) or DM me on Twitter (@lisalhannett), and I’ll include them in an upcoming segment of Tuesday Therapy. The more, the merrier!