I have a confession to make. I didn’t write very much in December. In fact, I had a great internal battle about whether I should give it up entirely.
Anyone who is a writer knows, you can’t just stop writing. It is something that comes out if you want it to or not. (And more likely when you don’t want it to, rather than when you do.) I pondered for a while but I didn’t talk about it. First, I was afraid my friend would think that I was looking for sympathy or pats on the head. Second, I was afraid my friends might deliver swift hard smacks to the back of my head. (Or even scarier, what if they agreed that I should give up my silly writing dreams?)
Eventually, the simple fact that I was afraid I would be told to give it up, finally sifted through my self doubt to make me realize I didn’t want to. Because if I did, wouldn’t I be feeling relief rather than dread?
I am still wrestling with that dragon of self doubt. It keeps asking me questions that I don’t have the answers to. Am I good enough? Does anyone want to even read what I write? Why would someone chose one of my stories over all the many others out there? What if I finally get my stuff where people can see it and they scoff and toss it aside before giving it a chance; because I over looked something simple, like a spelling or grammar error? (That last one really scares me. I have friends that do that so I know it isn’t just paranoia.)
Writing is a very solitary thing. You spend a lot of time in your own head. This means you face the good and bad about yourself all the time. You struggle with it. When you can, you pen it down on a page. (Pun intended.)
I am not writing this to seek sympathy. I am writing to…well, write it out. Things look much clearer on a page than they do all jumbled up in your head. I am not giving up even though I still feel a bit downhearted at the moment. I am told that many writers go through the “Am I good enough?” struggle. Big names with many book contracts under their belts still doubt themselves sometimes. It’s a hazard of the occupation.
The important thing, the thing I have to remind myself, is to just keep putting one word in front of another. If I can do that then I’m bound to get somewhere eventually.
“Red in the morning, Sailor’s warning, Red at night, Sailor’s delight.”
This rhyme is something I heard often growing up. I can remember laying in the floor at my grandmother’s house, gazing out of the window at the darkening evening sky painted scarlet, and hearing my grandmother quote this old saying. Variations of this saying are over 2000 years old.
This morning I stepped out onto my front porch and stopped to stare. The trees in the distance were painted bright red by the birth of the sun. It hadn’t even crested the horizon yet, but the trees were bathed in it’s fire. This old rhyme came immediately to mind even though it wasn’t the sky that was coated in crimson.
Looking back, if I gave into superstition, I could call this an omen. While we did not have storms of water and wind, I have had a tempest of bad luck all day. It was a Murphy’s law type of day. Everything from failed scheduling to financial hiccups afflicted me all day.
For example, some how my house payment for last month was lost in the mail and never reached its intended destination. I some how failed to notice. Usually once it has reached the post office I put it out of my mind and don’t think about it again until the next payment is due. So it was an unpleasant shock to see that my February house payment was over due. Things like that happened all day. Stuff that I thought was all taken care of, cropped up with sudden problems that kept me running all day and the things I had planned to take care of today had road blocks jump up to impede my progress.
I didn’t manage to get any writing done on my work in progress though I had high hopes for making head way on it today. Maybe after the children go to bed I will get another chance. If not, well then tomorrow is another day…it is also my birthday. I had hoped to have the day completely off but I won’t complain at this point if I can just get a couple of uninterrupted, worry free writing hours in.