I’ve been struggling lately. Don’t I start most of my blog posts like this? Anyway, of course my problem is in direct response to what I struggle the most: writing.
Earlier this month, or last month, or two months ago? I have no idea what day, week, month, or year we’re in anymore, but in an earlier post I stated that “soon” I would start a few new series that I’d been bouncing around in my head and now it’s more than two months later aaaannnnd....here’s this post.
The thing is, I don’t know what to do. While this year has definitely been both terrible and awful for me in many respects, I’ve had some bright spots. After ten years of anxiety, I finally got my driver’s license; I’ve taken up new hobbies including cross-stitching and Lego building (which was only abandoned after my wallet couldn’t handle it any longer); but mostly I feel like I’ve become a fraction more determined than I used to be.
When it comes to suffering from depression (which I have for a very long time now, and is detailed in a post I shared on Facebook) I feel like I have no worth. Plain and simple. This isn’t a cry for pity, it’s just a fact on how my mind behaves. When it comes to the list of important people in my life, I usually come in last (or not at all), I don’t fight back when people insult or use me (I just complain endlessly), and I’m unnecessarily self-deprecating to the point that I know I’ve made people uncomfortable with the way I talk about myself. Hell, even writing this I feel awkward because it’s almost a compulsion for me to tell everyone what my problems are at any given moment.
With this complete lack of self interest I can seem aimless in life, unmotivated about anything I (personally) try to do, and unstructured to a frustrating level. See, I can’t even go one sentence without doing it, but I am trying to make a point. Even if you don’t view me this way, it’s how I see myself, especially when it comes to my career.
And there’s no bigger love/hate relationship in my life than writing. The more I want to do it, the more I hate doing it and vice versa. While I love coming up with ideas, the second I get into the actual writing of a story, blog post, review, whatever, I freeze (this post itself has been sitting in Docs since September), or breeze through it quickly just to get it over with. This has been a struggle not just from this year, but for most of the years I’ve been trying to write professionally while also juggling other jobs and projects.
It’s what keeps me from fulfilling the Content Creator contract of constant frenetic posting on almost all platforms. Where other people can write, edit, and publish something in a day, the two days a week I actually have the time and energy to work on a blog post (or any type of writing) are almost always never enough to get something out to my liking. Which is actually a lie, they are enough time, I just don’t devote it to what I should be doing.
It’s the same with the “writing everyday” rule that most authors try to live by. I don’t. I’ve tried. There was a point in my life where I was writing almost everyday, but consistency when it comes to anything I work on for myself (and not projects where I either have a distinct deadline that people are waiting on, or something I work on with someone else) is just not there.
But I’m going to change that.
It’s just going to take a lot more patience on my part, and a little less fear, and I think now I can actually pull that off.
This is what I’m actually trying to get to. Unlike the many other years where I’ve bogged myself down in regrets while watching others take themselves seriously (and succeeding at it), I want to do that too.
The one thing that I’ve been trying to prove to myself this year is that I do have worth greater than my constant intrusive thoughts, and the pigeonholes that I (and others) have put me in since before I even went to college. I want to be bigger than the pervasive negativity that comes when you try to be a creative in a society that doesn’t find it profitable until you’re “known.”
So what I need to do, besides wallowing and whining, is do my research. While writing may feel like you’re living in a vacuum for most of the time, the community that comes with it is actually huge.
#Pitmad, which is a hashtag for writers who pitch a full novel they wrote on Twitter in the hopes that an agent will like it (and subsequently want you to query them) was trending all day on September 3rd, and while many still don’t really know what it is, it still amazed me to see the amount of people participating and talking about it all day. While I didn’t get any likes, I made a bunch of connections with other authors through Twitter, and I want to continue that.
I want to know more about the community and how to navigate the writing world as we’re all (mostly) secluded. But I don’t want to stop there either. There’s knowing and then there’s acting, and I want to get past the five year planning stage I’ve been stuck in for about a decade.
Building a platform takes time, doing the research and sticking to a solid plan takes time, so while I work through my struggles instead of trying to fight against it, I ask for patience not from you guys (if anyone does actually read these thank you for being so patient for THIS long already), but I also need to be more patient with myself.
If I’ve learned anything, pressuring myself to do better, to work harder, to be someone I probably will never be is just not healthy anymore. I need to learn how to be me first, and my writing is always going to be intertwined with that. So maybe expect more stops and starts with posting this year, which really doesn’t make it different from any other year, but also expect me to hold myself accountable for my work and myself. I want to be fully responsible for my healing and my career without wearing myself out with non-existent pressure, and give myself some healthy (and consistent) deadlines to live by.
So for the rest of this month (and probably next) expect some reviews on the plethora of books and movies I’ve been plowing through this year (I also have some mini-reviews on my Facebook page, and soon to be on Twitter), and in the future there will be a clearer schedule of what I want to put in this blog (besides posts about my constant struggles). Just know that it’s probably going to be horror related because, well, you know.
I dig that spooky shit.
PS: I am currently working on other writing projects as well that I hope to share, and I have a BIG announcement coming soon that I can’t wait to tell everyone about!!
Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio