Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Measuring Success

So you want to be a writer? I have a question for you. How do you measure your own success?

For many of us I'm sure that getting published is the ultimate goal, but is it the only form of success? Is someone else giving credit to your work, putting money where their mouth is to publish your work the only way to prove your success?

For people like me, the answer would be yes. I have no self belief in my writing ability, so when i get a compliment, i just don't believe it. I believe that people tell me what i want to hear. I'm paranoid that way, but that's just me.

The chance that any of us wannabe writers getting published is slim, so if like me it's the only way to prove your writing is worth something, then we are doomed to think ourselves as failures.

I remember when i used to write for fun, because i enjoyed creating characters and making them interact, when the thought of being published was a distant dream. Now i know that i want to be a published author, i have found the thought of writing quite crippling. Fear of failure scares the hell out of me.

I need to refocus. See individual achievements for what they are, stop focusing on the bigger picture, stop putting so much pressure on myself. Whether it's getting published or not, writing a novel is still a huge personal achievement. Completing a chapter is an achievement, it means you're one step closer to the finished product. And even if we only manage 500 words before crawling into bed, it's still an achievement because it's 500 words we would otherwise not have written.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to start focusing on the smaller things. I'm going to celebrate my smaller achievements, take pride in things i previously would have passed over. And if someone tells me they like what i write, I'm going to try really hard to believe them. Because, realistically, even if they are telling me what i want to hear, the only person to gain from it would be me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Missing Mojo

Whilst struggling to get to sleep last night, all i could think about was my current lack of mojo. A few people have commented to me recently how i need to go out more, do more, and it has made me realise how little i actually do, and how secluded i have become.

Currently i am signed off work by my doctor, but the time i spend at home is not the slightest bit productive. I have always wanted to be a writer, but i rarely write these days. Before i have always put this down to fear of failure, but now i just think i have withdrawn so far into myself that even writing, my biggest dream, my life times ambition, even that holds little motivation for me.

I used to have a wide circle of friends, and i would go out and socialise. Now i have one friend who i regularly see and keep in touch with, and he is awesome. But sometimes, when I'm with him, i will feel so disconnected from him, and i don't understand why.

Its the same with my family. Tonight, i am visiting my mother, and my brother will be there. And even though i am looking forward to seeing them both, already i can feel myself slipping into a state of mind where i am becoming numb, putting up shields and preparing a list of things that i could talk about, and i have nothing. I have done nothing to warrant conversation. So i will sit there, listen to both of their news, and i will withdraw even more into myself because i wont be able to relate to their comings and goings which in turn will make me feel invisible which will then make me not want to go round again because of how i ignored i feel when I'm there.

Which is really and utterly stupid.

The biggest problem i have at the moment is that even though i would like to be more social, quite frankly, people scare me. They never used to. But these days, even sitting on a bus i feel like everyone is staring at me and it really makes me uncomfortable, and i start to feel suffocated, and then i start panicking and then i want to run and flee and hide away from the world.

I've never really been any good at small talk. If people want to know about the weather, look outside, it doesn't need commenting on. Yes, you have a lovely dress, but you already know its lovely, or you wouldn't be wearing it.

None of this makes any sense to me. I never used to be this way.

I would love to be more like the person i used to be. I don't understand what happened to make me suddenly feel so inferior to everyone else. Because if i strip away all the confusion and emotion, that's what it all boils down too. Me feeling inferior. Me not feeling like i am worth anything good. Me not being deserving of good things and attention.

I do not know how to change this. I know i have people who love me, and they do their best to try and convince me i am worth something, that i have things to offer the world, that i have potential, that i am a good person worthy of good things.

But i just don't see what they see.

I do not know how to get out of this negative mindset. I do not know i can move forward with the current beliefs that i have, that i am convinced are true. So if any of you have any bright ideas, please let me know, as i am tired of feeling like i am just existing.

I want to live again.