Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sucking it in Syndrome

There are many times when I get ready in the morning and when I look at myself in the mirror, I think I look pretty good. I'm having a good hair day, my eyes aren't too baggy and my muffin top is barely visible. Then a week later I'll see a picture of myself that someone has taken without my knowledge and think, "I really look like that."

This is what I think happens. It is a natural reaction to suck in your gut whenever you look in the mirror or pose for a camera. It isn't until you see yourself as the world sees you in a photo that you moan and groan in desperate cries of anguish.

Sometimes I think this is how I look at my manuscript. I'll read a sentence, paragraph or scene and think "Wow, I'm a really good writer.", but then I'll see it after someone else reads it and think "Wow, I really need a lot of work."

My goal, not to suck in my gut when I see myself in the mirror so maybe I won't eat any chocolate that day and to really look at my words like someone whose never read them would.

Let the work week begin.

15 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

What a great analogy! I don't have a gut to suck in, but I have a prominent nose and I am NOT photogenic, so I'm always having these moments where I look at a picture and am like, oh man, that's what I look like. LOL At the same time, there times pictures look much better than I expect.
Besides all that, it's good to remember who made me and love me for how He made me. :-)

But I really love this analogy you made. Definitely true!

Piedmont Writer said...

You're funny, great analogy!
I more or less let it all hang out and don't really care what the picture looks like because I know who I am inside. And like my writing, if 'they' want to critisize a first draft, well, I don't care because I know what it's going to look like when it's done.

Heidi Willis said...

I so identify with this!! After the book signing, I looked at the million photos my hubs took and thought, "Holy cow! I actually look like that?" And then proceeded to figuratively burn those digital pictures. It's hard to suck in your butt. :)

I normally feel the same way about writing, but I've come to really LOVE rewriting. Love love love it. So I get the junk down on paper, and then get to make it pretty. Right now, I'm okay with that.

I vote you the master of analogies. Is there an award out there for that?

Wendy Paine Miller said...

What a wonderful analogy. Funny and yet as I edit, not so funny. ;)
~ Wendy

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL I've been sucking in my gut alot this past week as I start my edits. Ugh. Makes me wonder some days.

Kasie West said...

lol My solution is to just stop looking in the mirror and seeing myself in pictures. Then I remain in my happy state of bliss. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I understand. It's not until I've sent a partial off to an agent or a contest that my eyes are open and I can see how to tighten it. Too bad that can't happen before I send it! :)

Melissa said...

How true this is! Usually my "oh no" moments are after I post a chapter for my crit group. I have to force myself to leave it up there because the whole point is to let them see the junk so they can help me fix it.

patti said...

Patti, you really are funny. LOVE your tell it like it is blogs.
Patti

Rena said...

What a great post. I was beginning to think my mirror at home was just different than all those in stores. Why do we look SO DIFFERENT from mirror to mirror? Is it the glass or do we really see ourselves differently?

I'm the same way with my writing. I'll read it in my head over and over and think it sounds great. Then when I read it out loud (or have someone else read it) it sounds totally different. Maybe our words are like our mirrors ...

Jen said...

I hope your work week is going well so far! I hope that you are looking at yourself in the mirror showing the real you and that your writing has been successful.

These were perfect words for me today considering I just had my first critique and some of the things said were pretty harsh, this is the point to grow a thick skin and remember to stay true to myself.

Great post!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

This hits so close to home it almost hurt to read it. lol.

Now, to make myself feel better I'm going to make myself a peppermint mocha coffee and suck in my stomach all day. ;)

Lindsey Edwards said...

I think looking back at what you write with the eyes of a reader is a fantastic idea! I try and do it myself but as it is hard to do, I try and have a family member or REALLY close friend around to read it without me telling them anything about the story so they go over it like a first time reader.

L.T. Elliot said...

A great analogy and I believe that we should try to see ourselves in the light of truth but I also learned something this weekend.

I went to a conference where I all I had to recognize people were from the pictures I'd seen of them online--and a picture never did them justice. There was no way to capture the way their expressions lit or darkened their faces. There was no way to prepare for the pleasing lilt of their voices. There was no expectation that couldn't be shattered by seeing them in their natural, true selves. And though the pictures were pretty, it was nothing to the person beneathe it--regardless of their shapes.

I think our books must learn to be like this. We start with a picture and then we have to breathe life into them. They have to be able to stand, walk, breathe, laugh, smile, and exist on their own. Because a picture will never do them justice.

Ee Leen Lee said...

great analogy, suck it in and keep on keeping on