Before I go there let me say how thankful I am this lil blog exists. If not for this, a rough writing day would hurt much more. But here I can write sans worry about plot or if my characters sound like themselves or if I am going too heavy into dialogue and forgetting to sprinkle in setting.
What’s got me all down is the very thing they say not to do and I know better than TO do but, of course, do anyway.
Reading and comparing.
When the day’s been rough, my hair’s been pulled, my skull’s decided to start pounding and my brain’s turned to mush the thing to do is to stop. Stop writing and do something, anything other.
Typically, that means switching to le business of writing. But, as it’s a Sunday and I’ve been working far too many weeks now without allowing myself a day off, I decided I’d do none of that. Instead, I'd get myself up off that chair and go to the bookstore, before re-immersing into society. (Oh the writer’s cave!)
Shelves of Ursula Le Guin and Joan Didion.
Hm. Maybe I should’ve stopped there.
Maybe I should’ve said “this isn’t the time to read the award winners.” But like any bookworm, I have a complete inability to hold back from plucking these babies off the shelves and jumping right in.
(Honestly, you know that place where the world falls away and you have no idea if the store around you is full or bare? Always get there with Le Guin.)
After doing what I always do— returning the books to the shelves, only to promptly put them on hold at the library, I felt it.
“Good luck getting to that level. You’ll need it, kid.”
Side note - sorry if this is annoying but if you’re reading this..well! I’m not binding you to your chair; feel free to flip the metaphorical page.
The reason I share this is because, though I’m optimistic 99% of the time, I wanted THIS part of me to be out in the world. The 1% pessimist that has a tendency to have fun with strangling my heart.
Why? Because I know, without a shred of a doubt, that if there’s only one thing I could ever say to the world it’s this: **everybody hurts. **
(...yeah, like that REM song.)
Mhm, this truth is well known by now, but however known intellectually, it's still not really internalized enough is it?
So let me break my skin and bleed onto this blog. Let me use these words to tell you, I feel you. Life's not easy. What is, is feeling like you're not good enough.
Ursula Le Guin had shitty writing days
Van Gogh had shitty painting days
& Walt Disney had equally as shitty experiences in entrepreneurship
So I vow here to do as they did and look that difficulty in the face and said, “Fine. Hurt me now. But tomorrow we’re getting back in the game. It’ll be better.”
You with me?
And, hey! Even if it’s not better tomorrow, let's continue to tell ourselves it will be. Because one day, this shall be true.
Note: I think it’s important as hell if you’re facing a roadblock you try different tactics rather than repeatedly beat your head against a wall. Right? Like for me, I’m in that place where I know I need oh so much help in the art of fiction writing.
And so I’m off to connect with fiction writers and editors I admire. I’m off to politely ask them to meet me when we’re gathered at this writing conference. And what else? I'm off to get feedback from les writer pals. True feedback. Not glossy ones. Those are sweet but ultimately unhelpful.
Okay, eep. That’s enough.
Much love and stay strong kiddos. We got this!
*Art by Helena Perez Garcia