Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You are the Bestest!

criticI am one of my harshest critics.

Forget my critique partners or editor taking the proverbial whip to my manuscript and making it bleed red, I’ve already done it about five times before they even get to it! Ooh! I could have used a stronger verb here…my plot has a saggier middle than me…my love scene makes me cry—and not because it was so satisfying…

Yup, I can really rake myself over the coals. But I’ve learned that while I’m so quick to prohibit myself from watching Being Human for not meeting my word count, I have to be just as swift to reward myself. Believe it or not, that was hard for me.

I’m the person who doesn’t impulse shop or treat herself to a new shirt. I’ll buy my husband a new gadget rather than spend $7.00 on a book for myself. Some may call that selfless, but it’s actually guilt. I have a guilt complex when it comes to spending just for me. Having kids only deepened the neurosis! Armchair psychiatrist here, but growing up, I watched my parents sacrifice for my sister and I when it came to private schools, clothes, extra curricular activities…they always put themselves last. My mother used to joke, “I haven’t bought a new pair of drawers in years!” TMI really, but as an adult I adopted that mentality. So, you understand why it has been a struggle for me to actually reward myself.

But I find that setting aside those little presents for obtaining a goal helps to motivate me. It’s not about buying things all the time or spending money. There are simple luxuries. As a writer, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I’d like. So for reaching a word count goal, I get to indulge in Thea Harrison’s Serpent’s Kiss in her Elder Races series. Believe me! This is an awesome treat! For finishing a book, my husband cooks stuffed mushrooms and friend eggplant for me. For selling a book, my husband takes me out to our favorite restaurant, Carrabba’s. well done

Being hard on myself is not a negative thing because it helps me to constantly strive to better myself and never become complacent. But I also need positive reinforcement. It’s not selfish to baby or pamper myself. The same hand that slaps my forehead in “what the &^%^$# are you doing?” is the same hand that can pat myself on the back, say “well done” and pop a Symphony chocolate bar in my mouth. Actually, it feels—and tastes—much better!

13 comments:

Dalton Diaz said...

Naima,

You just totally described me! Except, I'm still at the guilt for the reward stage. If I hit a certain word count or whatever the goal is, I let myself do a bit of jigsaw puzzle, or play solitaire. Silly little things, but the time still makes me feel guilty!
It helps to know I'm not alone in this.

Casey Crow said...

Me, too! Actually, I'm more like your mama with my pitiful looking bras and panties. LOL I seriously need to go shopping.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Dalton!
You are so not alone! What makes me feel good is that I'M not alone! LOL! I play Tri-peaks as a reward, too!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Casey!
Wow! Another one! LOL! I'm feeling really good right about now! And...snicker...I plead the 5th on the bras and panties...Hee-hee!! Let's just say we should do a shopping trip together! LOL!

Michelle Polaris said...

You guys are making me feel very self-indulgent. Guilt plagues me, but I think its grasp has weakend significantly over the years. Ah well, guess I'll end up poorer and fatter. Lucky me!

Callie Croix said...

Rewarding yourself is so important! If you ever need help with that, I'm your girl :)(says she, who's married to an accountant and frowns at her extraneous purchases)

Brenda Williamson said...

I tend to forget to reward myself. I go weeks with doing for others and doing what needs done before I think "hey, I need some self love." This past Sunday was one of those timers. I said the hell with all things work related and lay about watching tv, reading, and just plain relaxing as if I didn't have a million other things to do.

Monday, I still had the guilt trip. All that time wasted. I could have wrote three thousand words, I could have varnished my office floor, I could have done the laundry, the vacuuming, and cleaned the refigerator.

However, by Tuesday I was wondering how long before I do nothing again. :-)

Wynter Daniels said...

I should be tougher on myself! I reward myself for accomplishments, but I do let myself off the hook for slacking! I'll take a dose of hard-on-myself!

Paige Tyler said...

I'm definitely my harshest critic, too!

*hugs*
Paige

Naima Simone said...

Poorer and fatter! LOL! You forgot happier! And more relaxed! Hee-hee!! I love the way you think, woman!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Callie!
Hah! My husband is the accountant in our family too! I get that phone call..."Uh, did you got to Books-A-Million?" Well duh! You saw it on the account! LOL!! But he's the one who encourages me to treat myself more...go figure!

Naima Simone said...

Oh Brenda! I'm so jealous! I love those kind of days, but my reaction the day after is just like yours! I could have been further ahead in my word count, I could have cleaned the living room...then, dang! I want another day like that! Maybe THAT could be my treat! Heeey, now there's an idea...

Naima Simone said...

LOL! Wynter, just email me! We can swap! I got your back on the dose of hard on yourself and you inject me with the reward antidote! LOL!