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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Widdowson

Give Yourself Some Grace

Updated: Mar 3

Picture of an open book with text with wildflowers laying on top of it.
It's the last day of November, and my latest book, MYND Control, is supposed to be published by now. However, my plans have not worked out the way I expected. I was ready, I thought, weeks ago, just waiting for one last proof-reader to share their feedback. Then I bought a new editing tool application and used it for what I thought was one quick final review. But as it turned out, the review was not quick. I was wrong, and I'm sure it won't be the last time in my life.

I was flustered. I was disappointed. I was pissed off! What? After countless times reading and re-reading, fixing grammatical and spelling errors, looking for extra spaces, missing or misused words, removing passive voice phrases, sending my book to four different proof-readers—How could there possibly still be so many mistakes to wade through?

Many of the errors were minor, but there were a lot of them. Plus, the tool helped me find clunky sentences or phrases that could be more eloquently written, compared my writing style to other authors, and offered numerous suggestions about how to make it sound fresher and be easier to read. I worked feverishly for hours every day, trying to get everything done before the month was over. I had promised the world (my friends, family, and everyone on social media and who's seen my website) that the book would be ready for purchase by the time the clock rolled around to midnight, the last day of November.

But I finally had to admit it was not going to happen.

I had to let the dream go, and that made me think—Why was I so upset about not meeting my self-imposed deadline? There was no publisher scereaming at me that I was late; no check sitting in my bank account to be returned for missing my promised publishing date. I didn't have millions of readers waiting with bated breath, fingers poised on the buy button for my book to appear on Amazon.

So, I gave myself some grace.

I'm only human after all, as are we all. Plans change, deadlines get missed, dreams don't always come true (I know, I know—sorry!). Originally, my lifetime dream was to write and publish a (meaning one) novel. I did that two years ago with my first book The RH Factor, so why was I chastising myself because my second one was late? Life goes on. No one died. No one yelled at me. I didn't lose any friends. My book will still be published, and the same people who would have read it if I had met my desired deadline will probably still read it.

So, the next time you're berating yourself for not getting something done on time, or when plans go awry because of something you did (or didn't do), give yourself a break. You're not perfect, and no one expects you to be.

My book will be published in December—one month after my original deadline. I hope my readers will also give me grace, enjoy my second book, and that I remember these words the next time I decide to set a self-=imposed deadline on a project.

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carlakesslerauthor
Dec 01, 2023

As of today I am 6 months past due my self-imposed publishing date for my second book. Life happens. Thanks for sharing!

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