My own worst critic – Blogmas Day 12

I’m my own worst critic in everything in life. I think I’m absolutely mince at just about everything. I think I’m inferior to everyone and that I’m incapable of doing things that ‘normal’ people do. In this post, I’m going to be specifically talking about my book.

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Yes, I published a book. At 20 years old, I published a book. And although that is an astounding achievement for anyone in life – I’m my own worst critic and I think it’s no good. Upon reflection, I wish I’d done things differently. I wish I’d been more talented. I wish I’d known more about poetry and found my writing style at the time it was written. I wish I’d understood form more, and played around with line breaks and techniques. You see, I was still a very anxious and sensitive soul, I was too afraid to come out of my comfort zone and try new things. I was holding back. Writers shouldn’t hold back. 

I shouldn’t beat myself up too much. My book has been a great success for a self-published writer and I’ve received many messages from people who have took comfort from it. My intention was to help people and I can put my hand on my heart and say my book has achieved that. I shared my mental health journey at a time where I was still very vulnerable and I’m proud of myself for that but I can’t help scrutinizing my book and wishing I’d done things differently. I’m my own worst critic. 

I don’t pick my book up often enough. In fact, I very seldom pick it up at all. I don’t promote it nearly enough as I should. I’ve even reduced the price from it’s original £10.99 to £7.99 because I felt it wasn’t worth what I was charging – even though I only receive a very small royalty from every book sold. It’s not about the money for me. I just want to help people; I want people to read my book and resonate with my words and take some comfort from them. The poems are easily accessible, they aren’t hard to decipher, and I haven’t shown my true writing style in my first book because like I said: I was holding back. 

I just wish I could give myself some credit for publishing my book. It’s my legacy. If I were to die tomorrow I’ve got a legacy. A tangible legacy that will live on long after I’m gone. Why can’t I give myself a pat on the back and say, ‘You’ve  done good Charlene’? I lost a dear friend, Emma, in the blogging community to cancer not so long ago and she doted on my book and always reminded me how much it meant to her. I need to remember these important facts and not let my own criticism deviate me from the positive results of my book. Emma would have wanted me to be proud of my book. I know that for sure.

Anyway, it’s almost Christmas, and I shouldn’t be bringing you all down with me. This is just a post that’s been brewing for a while and as Shrek says – better out than in. 

If you’re interested in buying my book (even after I’ve expressed all it’s flaws) you can pick up a copy here.

Until tomorrow,

Charlene McElhinney

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EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com

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6 Comments

  1. December 12, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    Your book is stunning. I think it helps bring comfort to people and realise that they are not alone. For what it’s worth you are talented and I found your writing style brilliant. The reason your writing style is brilliant in the book is because it showed real emotion and that is something that I as a reader always look for because I find it crates more of an impact.

    You are right when you say it is a tangible legacy and you never know who this book is going to help in future. Judging by the positive reviews you have, it may encourage more people to buy and therefore help more people. I know this is easier said then done but don’t be hard on yourself because the book is superb and you have done a fab job!

  2. December 18, 2017 / 11:12 am

    I can absolutely relate to how you feel, although our books are completely different every time I pick up my book I cringe a little because everything I’ve wrote since that has been better, and sometimes I wish I should have waited but in a way that was a story I had to tell and now I want to see that every thing I write now will be a learning curve that will only make me better writer, hopefully! lol

  3. December 23, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    Oh Charlene, I pick up my copy of your book all the time and I find comfort on every single page! It’s totally understandable that you find things you want to improve about it but I can 100% assure you that nobody else sees the flaws that you do – it’s only because you’re such a perfectionist and so self critical! Give yourself more credit for your superb achievement, it really is a fantastic book!

    Abbey 🎅🏼 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  4. January 9, 2018 / 6:47 am

    I think you’re thinking glad half empty. I have often found the most miserable people are those that seek perfection, it can’t be done so you have reach a point and think that’s good enough. Sure the book isn’t perfect but then what is?
    Why don’t you think about what you have achieved, a book at 20 alone is amazing.
    As for the price, I get annoyed with book pricing. This took many hundreds of hours to write so £10 is cheap really. Also people have bought the book and love it so let’s be honest price isn’t an issue.
    I give myself a hard time too but I have to change that thinking because it gets me down. I think if you focus on your many positives you’ll feel better too. ☺️

  5. February 10, 2018 / 10:57 am

    I absolutely adore your book and pick it up often. I think we all have those thoughts of “If I did it differently then….” or “If I were to do it now then..” I do it myself all the time.. I mean look, I’ve had three different blogs in the last two years all because they weren’t perfect, I even deleted all my social media and started from scratch. Thinking like this just means you’re growing as a person, and I’m sure if/when you write another book, you’ll do things differently, but your book is perfect for a lot of us who read it, who bought it. You need to give yourself a pat on the back more often. You do a lot of brilliant things, you just need to learn to celebrate them yourself, which is one of the hardest things to learn to do. I recommend writing everything down you’ve done, from writing a book, being the editor of your uni paper, snail mail, bee chat, e.t.c. and focusing on the positives those things bring to not only you but other people, that’s your legacy. You’re an amazing (I mean AMAZING) person, I just wish you saw it for yourself, and one day you will. Time can be a wonderful thing, if you give it chance x x

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