Shut up Elsie
Mistakes. Been there, done that, analysed them, I’m over it. Most of my mistakes involve third parties - I wasn't in complete control, so it’s easy to let them go.
Missed opportunities due to the paralysing fear that I’ll make myself look like an idiot, well, they’re a different story altogether. It's with them that my biggest regrets lie. Those opportunities were missed solely by me, listening to me, when I told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I listened to fear and I let fear win.
I am quite often on the receiving end of kind words, endorsements, and words of encouragement, and yet fear barely remembers any of them, but you can be sure that bitch can recite every single negative comment, criticism and put-down, word for word, dating back to my days of morning milk and knee high socks, with added venomous tone of voice for dramatic effect. It can be hard to ignore the voice of fear when she’s so bloody convincing.
As someone who works in the creative industry where stand out is the holy grail, and fortune most certainly favours the brave, I need to shut this voice up, or at least turn down her volume. So, in an attempt to disarm her I’ve named her Elsie, because for all intents and purposes she’s an inferior, lesser version of me (full marks if you get that link). I’ve visualised Elsie too; she wears a yellow velour tracksuit and blue Tesco trainers, with a high pony tail and far too much hairspray.
Confidence is Elsie's nemesis so I do whatever I can to keep my confidence up. I remember the good stuff, the compliments and good feedback. I make mental notes, write them down, screenshot them, I even share them on social media. I know it's in Elsie's interest for me to be humble, so I do the opposite - I celebrate the good stuff. I also challenge my creativity by entering One Minute Briefs every day. Some days, OMB acts as a warm-up, it greases the mind which helps the ideas come quicker for the day job. Other days, it's a much needed boost, a little reminder that whatever the challenge, I will find an answer and most of the time it'll be a good one.
Elsie has been pretty active today. Snide comments. "You are not a writer, why are you writing a blog post?" "What could you possibly have to say that anyone would want to read" "You are NOT a writer" "You are NOT A WRITER" "YOU. ARE. NOT. A. WRITER." She's been doing her best to get in my way, but I've succeeded in getting her to pipe down. I mean, she's a teenager with dreadful attire and the attitude to match - and I refuse to be beaten by an under-ripe, velvet banana wearing blue shoes.
So, Elsie, this one’s for you. My first ever blog post. I am a writer.
Has anyone seen Elsie?
Follow Louise on Twitter.