Hello friends and welcome to another self-referential edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
First of all, let me thank everyone who participated in, or even just sent me some kind words about, Drabble Rock on Tuesday. I was kind of nervous about creating what I hope will eventually become a community event, but even if it never comes to that, I am grateful to everyone who encouraged me nonetheless. I hope the second part of the Drabble Rock metaverse, The Ballad of Mercy May, which officially launches tomorrow, is just as well received. Please look forward to it.
Last week, my favorite writing related podcast, Print Run put out an episode about pettiness. The hosts, Laura and Erik, talked specifically about how pettiness and professional jealousies can often times be put to work motivating oneself to work harder, make it better, do it faster… wait, no. That’s Daft Punk.
Anyway, it got me thinking about my own pettiness. I, like most (if not all) others, am chock full of it, but perhaps abnormally it is not directed at anyone but myself. Specifically, my past self. Even more specifically, the past self that failed to live up to my own — lofty, lowly, or otherwise — expectations.
I realized listening to Laura and Erik that I treat my past self like an ex-lover and her failures like a break up I desperately want to win.
Ever since I announced Drabble Rock last week, I have been fretting about what has at times seemed like it’s inevitable downfall. After all, I have attempted myriad weekly creative endeavors, most of them right here on this blog, only for them to die in obscurity just a few weeks later. As I am constantly lamenting how busy I am with work, children, housekeeping, and freelancing in addition to writing, it seems like adding not just one but two new projects to the pot is a recipe for bitter disappointment.
Often times past disappointment has fomented an expectation of present inadequacies. That, in turn, depresses my ability and desire to pursue my creative endeavors. The idea then fails because of course it does, and inevitably the cycle begins anew.
Not this time.
Today, I am looking at the failure of my Short But Sweet vignettes, the shelving of my Border Towns draft, the excuses I’ve made for not pushing myself to commit wholly to writing and telling myself: I am better than that.
If my ex told me that I couldn’t write for shit, and that I should just give up because I’ve always been a let down and always will, I would work like hell every damn day to prove that asshole wrong. I would write and write and write; I would refine my craft, and start a second then a third draft. I wouldn’t stop, just because they thought I should.
So, why should I lay down and accept it when those thoughts are inside my own head?
Today, I am breaking up with giving up. I am dumping disappointment. I am walking out on not writing. I’m fed up with failure, so I’m leaving lethargy behind and embracing a new and more fabulous me. One that writes even when I don’t have to and finishes projects even when they aren’t on deadline. One that starts creative endeavors just because they’re fun and makes time for them because I made a commitment to myself.
So long to the ex-partner from hell of more than a decade: doubt, self-deprecation, and weary resignation.
Hello dreams realized.
That’s all from me on this bright and shiny Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow for the first installment of the second half of Drabble Rock: The Ballad of Mercy May. I hope you’ll all check out the first hundred words of the epic fantasy I once considered my opus.
Until then, friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.