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It’s Not As Bad As You Think

The [Input|Output]s of Mark
It’s Not As Bad As You Think
By Mark Askew • Issue #27 • View online
Trust your self. A new concept that I am trying to get behind after reading The Practice by Seth Godin; however, I have been struggling with this as I continue through my copyediting courses. 
It’s tough to change.
Doing the work simply involves acknowledging that we’re capable of caring enough to make the work better. To learn, to see, and to improve. — The Practice by Seth Godin
Each week I turn in an editing assignment, and as the deadline nears, I wonder how much I got wrong and what I missed. I wonder if I am ever going to be a competent editor. I wonder if I will remember the rules I look up, or if I’ve forgotten the rules I’ve learned. I wonder why I can’t spot a style issue, or how I missed a grammatical issue.
I wonder.
Each week after receiving my graded assignment, I review my professor’s feedback. It is always helpful. Always positive. And the grade I was so sure to be awful is never as bad as I thought; it’s an A.
The cycle repeats. I start each new assignment with confidence. It is then reduced to fleeting embers as I convince myself that the outcome will be horrible. There is a reason for this: grades.
I think I would have preferred not to be graded and simply discuss what went well and what didn’t. With a grade system introduced, I panic. The work I am doing is no longer about the work, it’s about the result. And I obsess over getting the perfect score.
Confidence isn’t the same as trust in the process. Confidence is a feeling we get when we imagine that we have control over the outcome…. Requiring control over external events is a recipe for heartache and frustration…. The alternative is to trust the process, to do our work with generosity and intent, and to accept every outcome, the good ones as well as the bad. — The Practice by Seth Godin
As I enter this week to work on my final exam for one of my copyediting courses, I will envision the outcome as good and bad. I know I can’t control the outcome. I can’t control my grade. I can, however, trust that I will do good work and whatever is defined to not be good can be improved.

On the Blog
Reviewed: The Practice - AskMark
New on Productivity Lab
Long Breaks – The Productivity Lab
Currently Reading
Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber: I actually just finished this book at the time of writing this. I enjoyed it. I may write a book review. I’m still mulling it over.
The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson: This is book 6 in the series Malazan: Book of the Fallen. So much good stuff is happening.
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Mark Askew

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