“Good Job, Sean.”

Writing is hard. And lonely. The business part involves networking and socializing, usually with great people. But the great bulk of the time is spent at my desk, by myself, working to get characters onto the page as fully-formed and three-dimensional as they live in my head. That ain’t easy. And when it’s not going perfectly, what is easy is being self-critical.
“That sucks. You’re going to have to cut all of that. Good job, dipstick.”
But I don’t say “stick.” And that’s not helping anyone, not the characters, not the reader, especially not me. So…
“Good job, Sean.”
Sean is a friend of mine who also works at home. Tech stuff, so a different endeavor, but he’s still the only one in his office, his own supervisor and his own direct-report. I suspect that everyone who works alone talks to him or herself. I do. Sean does. Sean’s just nicer.
“Good job, Sean.”
When he finishes something on time, when he gets something right, at the end of the day. Whenever.
“Good job, Sean.”
And lately I’ve been taking this to heart, trying to be nicer to myself, to be more encouraging. Now, even when things aren’t going swimmingly, I acknowledge the process, allow for later improvements, celebrate the endeavor itself. I’ve adopted the refrain.
I tell myself, “Good job, Sean.”