The Perks of Being Bipolar as an Author

I'm not bipolar but I seem to be about my writing. One day I think I'm channeling Hemingway. The next I'm clear that what I wrote is awful. The next day, I'm sure that... and so it goes.

There's something magical when writers have a "good" writing session where everything just "comes out." And then we get to be a biased reader the next day of what "came out." I used to get completely discouraged when I discovered that I hadn't channeled Hemingway the previous day. You know--the feeling of just wanting to take your toys and go home because, well, you don't want to play that "stupid" game anymore (because it was embarrassing how badly you played)? 

I expected the bipolar thing would ebb away when I continued to improve as a writer. Alas, it hasn't. Either I'm not getting better or being self critical is an inevitable part of the job. When I came to that idea, my attitude about being bipolar changed. Instead of feeling like calling it quits, I could see that "bad" writing doesn't mean I'm a "bad" author. I could see that honing a novel is, in fact, a function of letting a different day bring a different point of view to the words. 

I still get excited when I have a "good" day of writing but not so upset when the next day the same words don't look so "good." Maybe my "medicine" for coping with being bipolar about my writing is allowing it to happen without judgement. 

I guess I'll keep my toys in the game. How about you?