Embarrassed About Accomplishment?

It’s amazing to me how we, as people, generally tend to be. We pride ourselves as experts in world politics, parenting, fashion, you name it, but when we receive a compliment or an accolade, most of us feel suddenly humbled or even downright shy.

“It wasn’t much, really.”

“I don’t really deserve this.”

“Well, it wasn’t that hard.”

What’s also difficult is when you achieve a personal accomplishment, and you think to yourself: This is so awesome! I want someone to know! Not so that they’ll be impressed… I mean it’s not the most awesome thing ever… but I just want someone besides me to know. But I don’t want to seem like I’m proud or bragging… 

So here is…

The other day, after three and a half months, I basically completed a 76,000+ word novel. This was after spending a year writing a 67,000+ word novel. That was after spending ten years writing a 46,000+ word novel. Do you understand the strides I’m making here?

But again, I don’t want to be braggy (I honestly don’t), so this is the part where I downplay everything.

It’s not like it’s Pulitzer winning material or the next Harry Potter. All three of my stories need a TON of work before I even think about self-publishing or sending it off to someone to publish. 

I’m trying to balance all these thoughts. It’s good that I realize I haven’t mastered the craft of writing yet and I still have A LOT to learn. It’s good that I recognize that the first draft is no where near the last. And it’s good that I’m not already promoting my young adult dystopia series with a Facebook  page as I send this off to the fastest self-publishing company out there. (Which would be dumb for more many reasons, but especially since there are actually still some parts that I have highlighted yellow in Word because I plan to change them but haven’t yet, but have otherwise finished the story.)

But I don’t have to be embarrassed or afraid to say, “Hey, I’m super excited because I wrote over 75,000 words in less than four months and I have never, ever, ever done that before.”

When I posted this on Instagram the other day I was excited to surpass the last novel. I didn’t know yet that I was going to make it up to 76,000.

By the way, this did not come easily. When I started this novel in November (since – full disclosure – there were some bits and pieces of it that had been written out before and I had a lot better grasp on this particular story line than I did for the previous novel) I had a goal to finish both it and the next one in my series by the end of 2013. I put a lot of time into writing these last three and a half months. I know the next book will not be quite as fast, but I do hope I can get it done by the end of the year. And when I am ready to revise all these stories, I will certainly be more focused on the quality than the quantity. But before I could revise it to perfection (or as close to it as I can get), I had to write something. And lately, I’ve gotten much further along in writing something than I would have believed four years ago.

What are you hoping to accomplish, or have you accomplished, that excites you but also makes you feel a little sheepish?

5 Responses to Embarrassed About Accomplishment?

  1. Amy, this is inspiring. Even just to write that much, no matter the quality, requires an incredible dedication that helps someone like me want to write more. Oh, and if you ever want to send anything my way, I would love to take a look at it!

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