Hello friends and welcome to another fanciful edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
Friends, I am in full bounce-back mode after a difficult freelance period that saw a depressive episode, a serious crunch to meet a deadline, and the start of school for my three young kids. I am full of vim, vigor and a veritable wellspring of energy and ideas.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that more often than not my worst enemy when it comes to realizing my ambitions is, well, me. Or, more specifically, what I like to call my anxiety brain.
Whenever I stumble upon a new idea or decide spur of the moment to launch a new project, the moments thereafter are often rife with anxiety-brain. You don’t have enough energy, time, or stamina for something like this is one of the least offensive things it tells me. You’re going to get 10% of the way into it and give up. And, historically, that’s been true.
But, last night, after writing a page in my cozy fantasy draft, adding another 100 words to The Ballad of Mercy May, and getting to work on my latest romance novella for Scribd, it occurred to me like a bolt from the blue that the real reason I struggle to write consistently, complete projects, and grow myself as a writer with the intention of being a full time author is actually fear.
What for the longest time I thought was burn out or sheer laziness when it came to my creative endeavors was a pervasive fear that they would never amount to anything. The anxiety that I was spending so much time and energy on something that would not sustain me, not just financially but spiritually as well, has poisoned my creative well for so long I no longer recognized it as artificial.
More succinctly, I think I’ve been struggling to meaningfully commit myself to writing as a career I aspire to because I’m afraid I will fail.
Slowly, but surely, over the last 18 months I have subconsciously been at war with that misguided instinct, and, to be sure, I’ve made strides. I dove headlong into romance writing despite telling myself at every step of the process that I’m not good enough and I’ll be turned away. I launched two drabble projects last month just for the hell of it.
But I’ve also started and shelved two fantasy projects. I’ve taken weeks off at a time from my personal writing. I’ve made up excuses as to why I’m not writing today, or why now is the right time for that idea. I’ve even very, very seriously considered giving up on writing entirely. More than once.
Last night, I did something kind of crazy and possibly doomed for failure. Its pretty personal, so I won’t get into it here, but it was emblematic of my writing life as well and it was predicated on one simple question posed to myself: why not?
Why not research what it would take to open an indie book store? Why not launch a podcast to review fantasy novels? Why not take on more projects than there are time for in a day or even week???
In all seriousness, though, why not? What do I have to lose? Why not just… try?
After all, I may just surprise myself. In fact I’m counting on it.
In that spirit, just one last thing…
That’s right, folks, the exclusivity period for my romance novellas under Scribd is starting to lapse for my first few releases, which means I am entitled to share them with non-subscribers. If you are a romance fan or want to support my work, please consider becoming a patron when I launch next week.
Until then, my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.