Viewing blog entries in category: Animals
Today I'll be continuing the topic of retraining our writerly brain. If you live under a rock, or just didn't have time to read my last post Are you a good writer? Then please check it out here:
Do you lack confidence in your daily life? Do you lack confidence in your writing? Do you find yourself writing something, then not picking it back up for days, weeks, or months because you feel like it's terrible or you've done a disservice to your writing? Are you missing your writing goals because of this? Is your lack of confidence affecting how you interact with people you work with or the relationships you have with friends and loved ones?
I know, those are a lot of questions. But if you answered yes to even one of them, then you're not alone. On any occasion, I have trouble with confidence. I've never possessed an overabundance (or even a minor abundance) of the stuff. It's frustrating. It makes my interactions with people awkward, and sometimes it makes it difficult for me to take a compliment regarding my work, or even myself. This quirk frustrates the people around me sometimes.
So, like with nearly everything I find interesting, when I saw a vlog about building confidence in yourself, I thought I'd share what I learned from it. Here are the five tips on how to foster confidence in yourself, and your writing.
1. Fake it until you make it. (This is something you've all seen me say before, but don't roll your eyes, bear with me) Faking it doesn't mean being a jerk or disingenuous. It's quite the opposite in fact. Confidence doesn't happen overnight, but instead is a result of retraining your brain until it realizes hey, I've got this! It's a result of behaving and carrying yourself that exudes an aura of confidence, even though you don't feel that way. It can be as simple as changing your posture, making eye contact, or at least trying to look people in the eye more, and talking about your work as if you believe in it. Walk into a situation like the boss bad a$$ you want to be.
Why, because people are hard-wired to respect people who behave more confidently. They will value your opinion and presence more because of this.
2. Stop comparing yourself to other writers. Thankfully, I don't do this, but I know a ton of other writers who do. Your work is just that. Yours. It is unique, and nobody can write what you do the way you do because they aren't you. So stop worrying about how your Sci-Fi western opera is going to shape up, or if you're going to be the next Stephen King. Nobody, not even King's kids feel like they can fill those shoes, so why are you so worried about it?
3. Fill your life with positive reinforcement. As creative people, we've all been there. Our families and friends love us, but sometimes they don't get us, or worse... they don't know how to talk to us. They don't always know how to be supportive either, or how to pick up our fragile egos and stoke them until they can stand on their own. Surround yourself with people who get what it's like to want to live a creative life, support and nurture them just in the same ways that you need to be. Also, start a folder for yourself and fill it with compliments about you or your work. When you start to feel down, pull out your folder. It's too easy to forget the nice things people say to us, and sometimes we just need a reminder.
4. Find your on switch. Everyone has something (or if your lucky a few somethings) that make us feel good about ourselves. This could be a song that makes you feel a specific way or a movie. The point is to surround yourself with things that make you feel good. When you find that thing which works for you, milk it.
5. Practice. Practice the things that make you feel passionate. If it's writing, then write. Don't stop. When you stop practicing you're robbing yourself of the very things that make you a better writer. The better your writing becomes, the more confident you, in turn, will become in your work. Confident writers trust their skill because they've put in the time. Writers write.
As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you feel like there is something you’d like to see me cover, or I haven’t covered correctly, please leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading, and above all— Happy writing!
As a general rule, I’m no blogger. The types of blog entries I typically post are versions of my writing, usually a piece of a novel or short story. Today I’m writing to tell a different story. I must warn anyone who continues to read this sad entry that the following will be rather graphic and is unfortunately a true tale.
At nine this morning I sat behind my desk waiting for my first patient to arrive. It had been a typical Monday up to this point. All the slightly off owners of our clinics patients had run rampant calling about worries over various things. In the midst of which I received a call from an owner we’ll call Sally. Sally wanted to bring her dog in today because she was worried about his leg. Understandable enough because Sally’s pet could no longer walk on the limb. A thousand possibilities ran through my head when she told me this. Had Boscoe been hit by a car, stepped on, in a fight? If he had little to no use of the limb that meant we would most likely need an X-Ray. I asked Sally to bring Boscoe into the clinic immediately. She informed me that she couldn’t bring Boscoe in until later that afternoon around three. The appointment was set.
At two forty five this afternoon Boscoe made his appearance in our clinic for the first and last time. Sally would not bring him into the clinic until every other dog in the clinic had been cleared out. Finally at three fifteen Sally relented and brought Boscoe in. Peeking over the counter I could see this mass of fur bobbing until the front half of the poor dog finally made it around a corner. I bit my lip instinctively as I looked over this dog.
Boscoe was covered from the neck down in dried black blood. Bile rose in my throat as my brain reacted to the scene before me. Hobbling down the hallway this dog was not only unable to walk, he was missing his front right leg from the shoulder down. I moved to Boscoe immediately picking the dog up nearly cradling him to my chest as we moved into the front exam room. Boscoe was laid onto the scale, a weight and temperature reading were taken, and then I promptly stepped from the room to fetch my Veterinarian. As I was doing this my co-worker was speaking to Sally.
Upon inspection and a history taken from Sally, we pieced together the last two and a half weeks of Boscoe’s life. Sometime around three weeks ago, Boscoe wandered away from Sally’s farm, not a completely unusual thing for him to do. Sally believed that at sometime in the four days Boscoe was gone his paw was injured possibly in a trap. She bathed the paw in cool water to remove the blood, and then bandaged the paw. Three days went by and Sally removed Boscoe’s bandage finding that the paw had swelled even more, the tissue having died off. Sally awoke the next morning and Boscoe had gnawed the paw nearly completely off. Sally removed the paw. She rebandaged Boscoe’s stump for another three days cleaning and rebandaging. At the end of that day Sally left the bandage off. She did not see Boscoe again for several days. By the time this course of events had played out, Boscoe had self mutilated himself to the point that he only had three inches of his radius and ulna left intact and most of that had no flesh covering them. The tissue around what was left of his arm was completely dead and dying moving progressively up into his shoulder. To even be able to handle poor Boscoe Sally had given him an over dose of anxiety and motion sickness medication, he was basically stoned out of his mind.
I have been a technician at my Veterinary clinic for nearly five years. In that time I have never seen a more glaring, hideous, sickening case of animal cruelty, and neglect. Sally decided to mercifully euthanize Boscoe. I held his head as he took his last breath slipping into a deep sleep.
I decided to blog about this because I needed to vent my frustration at an owner who could so carelessly endanger her pet. Someone who had the nerve to ask my co-worker before he dog even took his last breath, if we knew of anyone who had a dog that might need a good home. Too often I see home “quack” jobs where people have googled Veterinary advice off the internet. This went far beyond owner neglect, this woman didn’t even do that much for her dog. She never sought advice, she never treated the dog, she simply bathed him with water.
I’ve been witness to some sad events in my time at the clinic, but nothing to date has ever touched, angered, or bothered me to the degree that this event did. Thank you for reading…