I was having breakfast this morning with a fellow writer, and she mentioned that one of her goals was to practice not being a "good girl." Being a good girl myself, I immediately understood what she meant. Whether it's a result of my upbringing, the era of my upbringing or a combination of both, I am a people pleaser. I hate the idea of letting people down.
This makes me very reliable.
This also makes me quite guilt-driven. I tend to tie myself into knots over making sure I am reliable. Remember when I mentioned this summer I planned to focus on balance? Part of that need to focus stems from my uber-reliability. I'm so determined to make all my deadlines and get everything else done that I'm forgetting to have fun and living in the moment.
Being a good girl also ties up my writing. For the past few weeks, Katy's been talking about her struggle with inner critics. As a good girl, I have very loud inner critics. These critics want to avoid all bad reviews, all revisions letters, and all bad story choices.
This makes me a very stressed writer. And threatens my reliability.
Talking with my friend this morning, however, has me thinking perhaps it's time to channel my inner honey badger. For those of you who don't know, Honey badger is the nickname of LSU football player, Tyrann Mathieu. The honey badger is a nasty, African animal that eats larvae and is known for its fierce fighting skills. He'll take on anything. As the narrator of a particularly funny video puts it, "Honey badger don't give a ****."
It's funny that I'm even talking about animals, because recently I wrote a blog about how my animal totem is the tortoise. That I may be slow and steady, but I eventually reach my destination. The tortoise also has a thick shell into which he can retreat when times get touch. I am a lot like a tortoise. I'm thinking though, my tortoise persona could use a little feistiness. There's retreating, then there's shedding your fears. You have to admit, the honey badger is just as much a survivor. Only he has no problem going after what he wants, and he's not afraid of challenge. And he sure as hell doesn't have an inner critic.
No one's ever said a tortoise don't give a bleep.
However, a tortoise can stick the honey badger motto on her shell. That's what I'm going to do. And then I'm going to practice not giving a bleep about my inner critic, reviews, sales, or anything else other than the book.
Just call me honey tortoise.