(It's certainly not too late to join us... lots of January left! start here)
Thanks to Douglas for today's photo - have a look at his blog The Net Mender for more photos and small stones.
I don't know about you, but I'm human.
This means that, for me, writing is rarely as straightforward as enjoying the process of paying attention.
Is anyone reading me? How many hits did we get today? Has anyone commented? Is it any good? Is it any good? Is it any good?????
Most of us writers write because we want to be read (you notebooking small stoners can feel very smug at this point). We have something to say, and we want people to hear it. There are a mix of motivations for this - I truly hope that my writing helps people in some way - but there are always ego-driven motivations somewhere in the mix.
How do we handle these aspects of the writing life?
I think it is helpful to feel OK about having these thoughts and feeling these feelings. Most of us do. Maybe if you're brave enough you can admit to them in the comments section. I guarantee you're not alone.
I also think it's helpful to notice these ego-driven thoughts when they arise. Ah, there's my crushing self-doubt again. Oh, hello old friend, 'how many hits have I got'.
Finally, maybe it's also OK to REALLY enjoy any positive feedback we do get from others. Take it in. Bask. Feed on it.
And to encourage ourselves too.
Writing things down can be a perilous task. We are exposing something of ourselves for everyone to see. Sometimes people will like our writing, and sometimes they won't. Sometimes they'll be kind, and sometimes they won't. We need to learn to nurture ourselves through the ups and downs.
Here's to being human, with all our frailties and arrogance and fear and mistakes and joy and beauty and wonder and love.