From Sarah, With Joy

Writer of all things kid lit.

Here there be kid poems.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for timing and taking yourself seriously

Timing is sometimes a difficult beast to deal with. I keep thinking I've sort of figured things out and then I haven't. My life is pretty awesome, I'm not saying otherwise, but I sometimes feel like I've been working and working towards something for a long time and can't catch a break, and granted I have a lot of work still to do, and I'm going to do it and it's totally worth it, for sure, but sometimes it feels a lot like slogging and banging against brick walls, especially compared to friends and family my age who appear to be jumping ahead with their lives in easy leaps and bounds.

I'm not complaining. Even the people who I think are moving forward quickly have problems, and I wouldn't want what they have anyway. I have different goals, that takes a different kind of work and timing. The point is that everyone has their own timing, whatever their goals are, and trying to compare one life and it's timing to another is just ridiculous.

So I'm not going to lie and say that my little sister going on a mission and my other little sister getting married in the next little while doesn't have anything to do with feeling like I'm somehow comparatively behind. I know I just said comparing is ridiculous, and I know that in my head, but it's still hard not to do it sometimes, isn't it? And like I said, I don't want to go on a mission or marry the guy my sister is marrying (even though he's great), so it doesn't matter. I want different things, I am working for them, and they will come. I absolutely believe that, it's just hard to remember sometimes.

Even without the comparison thing, the other uncomfortable thing is trying to BE a writer without having a book out. BEING a writer is my Goal, the thing I'm working towards that will come eventually, and this is just a phase we all have to go through. But it's still kind of awkward trying to balance the desire to work towards and do as much as possible to create a writing career as soon as possible, and the discomfort of feeling like you're trying to push yourself onto people without anything really to push. It's all about creating friendships and relationships anyway, and everyone has their own story and things to say, but somehow I don't feel quite validated yet. I find myself wondering why people read this blog anyway when I'm just another wannabe not-yet-published writer.

The thing is, nobody is "just another." We're all unique. Everyone has their own story and things to say, we just have to let that show. I don't know if I can truly get rid of this not-yet-validated feeling short of getting published, but the key is to not let it stop me in any way. I have a very bad habit of talking down my writing and myself, because I'm scared of people thinking I'm some lame untalented wannabe, thinking something like, "Ok Sarah, you have fun living in your cardboard box with twenty cats writing terrible novels." But I have to have confidence in myself regardless of the mean voices in my head. If I take myself seriously, I will be taken seriously. Every dog has their day.

My life is pretty darn awesome, and I hope this isn't too ridiculously me whining about myself type of thing. I'm only trying to be honest here, and using myself as an example because I know for certain I'm not the only one who sometimes feels this way. That in fact a lot of people/everyone feels this way at some point. We feel like we're not quite grown into our superhero costume yet, we're scared of people laughing at us because maybe our muscles aren't fully grown. But they will be one day and the work will be worth it. That's all I'm trying to say here, for anyone who feels the same way. Because like C.S. Lewis said, "We read to know we're not alone."

Sarah Allen


  1. I'm in the "not quite figured things out category" as well. It's daunting but I just have to trust things will work out in the end whether it's getting published or something else.

  2. This really struck a chord with me today, because I feel so far behind too. You're right though, everyone's journey is different and just because we aren't at the finishing line yet, doesn't mean we'll never get there! :D

  3. We all get to experience our fair share of self-doubt. For some of us, it comes more often than it does for others. The key is to always keep pushing for what you believe in, even though I know (and feel) it sometimes seems easier said than done. But when that happens, I just remind myself why I made the decision to write in the first place. Once that spark is reignited, I try my best not to lose sight of it.

  4. we probably aren't behind as much as we think at times--we just don't know where we are headed---love that quote

  5. Sarah - you're 23. Trust me on this, you've got lots of time to do it all.

  6. I think we all experience waves of not feeling in the right place. That's when we refocus on what brings us the most happiness. I truly believe when you are happy with your life, that's when gifts show up.

  7. Now I understand the comment you left on my blog! I agree it's sometimes hard to watch other people achieving things, but you've figured it out - you said 'We're all unique'. Life is a fantastic journey - try to enjoy every moment!

  8. Sometimes I get stuck comparing myself to others, but then I remind myself that I'm awesome and that we all have different timelines. As long as we enjoy life and work hard, things will fall into place.

  9. So I guess if you boil it down to its're HUMAN! Congratulations, you're already validated...keep up the good work!

  10. Your posts rock. Also, you're a writer right NOW. Don't forget that. And I love the glasses in your profile photo :)

  11. Once I let go of seeing myself as a "wannabe" or "aspiring" writer, I felt much better. I write, that makes me a writer. I may not have as much success as other writers, but that doesn't discount my unique talents or lessen my passion for the craft. I push to learn more, read more and write as much as possible. It's the only way to improve. If I quit, the only thing that's guaranteed is failure.


I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

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