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5 ways to move beyond your writing faux pas

Writing blunders. Don't we all make them? If you don't then maybe this piece won't make any sense to you. I can speak for myself and I've no qualms admitting that I make a whole lot of them. On my blog here, in my work-related writing, over formal and informal emails, there have been instances of minor and even gaping flaws.

So, how long do I dwell on my writing faux pas?
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Each time I've realized the shortcomings, I've cringed. My ego is bruised and I cower in embarrassment to think of how I might seem to others. I imagine the sniggers directed towards me; someone who claims to be a writer and yet has not pocketed the nuances and finer aspects of the trade.

Despite this, I sleep over my failings. I brood, sulk, but emerge out of the shadows of self-berating and criticism. To write again. To falter again. It does not happen as easily or automatically as it sounds. Nevertheless, I try not to dwell too much on the damage already done. The more important part is to learn from those and move on. Perhaps, to make newer mistakes; perhaps, to write better.

It has taken me many years to learn to accept my limitations. I don't say I've been able to do this entirely even today. Yet, I'm on the path. Slowly, but steadily. A few decades ago, I'd have stopped trying. Shaming myself privately and losing the courage to pick the pieces up. Today, I at least, I look beyond what could've been and focus on what can be done.

5 Things that I tell myself when I'm too harsh on myself:

1. Accept the fact that there will always be more talented people in my circle.

I realized that I cannot learn if I constantly pit myself against the best. I can only better myself not be better than someone else. It's also unfair to myself.

2. I may not be the best but I'm still good

My field of choice is a large galaxy and we are all at different levels like the planets in orbit. The position of a particular planet does not make it superior or inferior to the others.

This is something I'm still working on. For, I lapse into phases where I tell myself if I'm not at a particular level I shouldn't be trying at all.

3. Set goals but embark on an unconditional journey

While it's good to lay down goals, if we lay down pre-conditions that I have to be 'this' good or I'm no good at all, we might not start on any journeys in life.

I have a problem in setting specific goals. And, I'm not talking only about writing goals. It's because I'm scared to think big; because I pull myself back saying when there are so many better ones out there struggling what better can I do?

4. Goals can be smaller ones. Celebrate every milestone.

So, my answer to the previous point is that I need not think big. I can start with smaller achievable goals and take it from thereon. I need to allow myself to pat my back for every little milestone I achieve along the way. This way the journey itself will become enjoyable and I won't be worried about the destination.

5. Enjoy the journey and don't worry about the destination.

Didn't I say that already? I'm going to tell this again and again. To myself and to everyone out there like me.

What's your mantra to forgive your mistakes and move on?


  1. That's a cool list :)
    I agree that we must learn to be kind to ourselves every time we falter because if we aren't how could we expect the world to be?
    I particularly liked point #3 and #4.
    That analogy of writers being planets in the galaxy, each at their own level, existing in their own space is insightful :)

    1. Being kind to ourselves-much as it sounds like the most natural thing to do many of us fail to do it, right? Being one's worst critic has its own pitfalls. Thanks a lot ME. Glad it resonated with you :-)


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