I didn’t sit down in front of my computer today to write intending to either educate or entertain. I’m not going to offer my take on what to write when to write or how to write.
Though I’ve written before on brain exhaustion and what happens when a writer flames out and crashes, this isn’t one of those either.
None of that today.
Today, I’m writing to help myself clear these nagging thoughts that once more I’m failing to hit the mark from my head so I can move forward.
I need to purge folks. I’m sorry.
I know we all have our own set of problems, our own worries, but I’ve always looked at each of you as probably the best support group I’ll ever have, aside from my lovely and dear wife.
Who reads everything I write and supports me in billions of ways. I’ll tell anyone willing to listen; this woman saved me.
And yes, she knows all about living with a writer and, for some unholy reason, is gladly willing to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to dealing with my crazy mood swings.
She puts up with my almost bi-polar moments of one day feeling good about myself, then the next day sullen, full of despair. A lot of times, she patiently listens to my morose poor me, pity parties, and then says, “you just have to give it time, dear.”
I love ya, baby.
The thing is, I’ve always agreed with the stance that sometimes just writing it out helps heal the wounds. So with that in mind, that’s what I’m doing this morning — just letting that old bad boy fly.
Brothers and sisters, I’m feeling pretty danged beat the heck up right now.
I’ve spent my entire career writing with dogged persistence, with the understanding that someday all my hard work would pay off. I, on more than one occasion, have challenged myself and other writers to learn to go the distance, to understand this writing career is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
I’ve even cautioned fledgling writers and tried to level set them with the notion that some of us, maybe a ton of us, will spend our entire writing career trying to reach a certain level of success.
And still never get there.
Throughout the last twenty-five years, I’ve experienced a lot of almost high and mind-blowing lows in my writing career, and for the most part, I’m pretty proud of how I’ve managed to work through them.
I was pretty confident I had discovered and adopted a firm resolve to keep on trucking.
Each time bouts of depression hit, those times when I chastised myself for simply not being good enough — when I was — for not working hard enough — when I did — for not writing well enough, I was able to pull my head out and continue striving for my perception of success.
But for some reason, I hit the wall a couple of days ago, and instead of bouncing off, choosing a different tactic or path and pressing forward like I always did, the collision with this wall of mine dropped me to my knees.
New year, old pain, same problem. It’s like a freaking rash that just won’t go away no matter how much Gold Bond you use.
Tell me this, my dearest writing clan. How in the heck do I put an end to these thoughts of unworthiness for good?
I’m not trying to be a whiny baby here (yes I am), and I’ve been around this block far too many times to not know the lay of this flipping landscape. And yes, I’m having a weak moment, but I need you folks’ shoulders to cry on for a moment. That’s all.
Because I already know the answer.
There is no way to put an end to these moments of frailty and heartbreak, these situations which are guaranteed to frustrate even a superhero’s hopes and dreams.
Absolutely no way.
At some point in a writer’s career, and for some almost every single day, these feelings of inadequacy and insecurity will try to take up residence and live inside our heads doing their very best to seize the day.
And I know the only thing I can and should do is what I’m doing right now, at this very moment. I know the answer has always, and will forever be, the same answer each and every time I sit down to crank out something.
Just keep writing.
So d@mn simple. Three little words that mean so d@mn much to every writer in this community and the entire world over.
Here’s what those three words really mean to me.
Ignore the pain you’re feeling from a heart aching so bad because of loss that you can hardly think. Just keep writing.
Stop telling yourself you’re no good and keep writing for God’s sake. You’re better than you think you are.
Quit listening to those who always tell you to get a real job because you’re never going to make it as a writer. Stop letting your brain drag you down into the depths of depression and self-loathing by making you believe no one is reading what you write.
Maybe no one else is, but you are.
I know you read your own work because I read my own work as well. Ask yourself this question. How do the words you write make you feel when you read them? If the answer is proud, then keep writing. Even if the answer is embarrassed, keep writing.
I suppose this discovery of mine I’ve always really known, but for some reason just wasn’t willing to admit it. Admitting it openly to you folks and myself means that I somehow have made a positive and conscious decision to continue.
To never give up despite how everloving hard it is.
And I don’t know where this journey is going to take me, or if I’ll ever get to where I want to be, but I will keep heading in the direction I wish to travel.
The journey to the reward is always difficult, but I’ll never make it without the resolve to persevere.
Thanks For Reading
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