This has been a nightmare of a week at work. Seriously. I won't go into details since they're boring to everyone but me and have nothing to do with writing or reading. I'll just say that the first three days of this week were an unremitting series of small humiliations and defeats. Monday night I was so grim when I got home that Mom asked if I'd received a rejection. She knows me well.
I was off yesterday, thank goodness. What I mostly wanted to do was curl up and lick my wounds. Instead I decided that dammit I will not take this shit lying down. I need to stop apologizing to the universe for being alive. That means not just sticking up for myself at work when people try to walk all over me, but treating myself properly the rest of the time too.
Now as a writer, I fight hard against that inevitable feeling of "I'm awesome" since it comes with a set of blinkers that make it even harder to evaluate my work. But there is absolutely no need for me to be embarrassed of my accomplishments.
Here's the progression, and I bet I'm not alone in this kind of thinking: When I sell a story, I don't congratulate myself, I point out--to myself and others--that it's just a small magazine, not a pro sale. If I sell to a pro market, I'm quick to acknowledge that it's probably just a fluke, that most of my sales are just to small markets. When I sell a book, I say it's just a small press and the book won't actually be in stores. And one day when I do have a book accepted by a large commercial publisher, I can hear myself saying, "Well, it's just a fantasy/romance/mystery story," as if the only real books are whatever genre I haven't had published.
I'm going to stop this self-denigration now. I know I have a lot of hill left to climb in my writing career, but I'm proud of everything I've had published. I'm thrilled silly that The Weredeer has found a good home, and I believe in all the stories and books I still have in the works.
So to commemorate my new badass self, I went and got a drastic haircut yesterday: from long, floppy hair to short and bouncy(ish), and I threw away the ugly slacks I keep wearing to work even though they make me feel like a defeated old lady. Today I walked into work with an attitude of "I'm here to chew bubblegum and proctor tests, and I'm all out of bubblegum." I all but whistled the Dirty Harry theme.
And no one even noticed I'd had my hair cut. Dammit.