So, about two weeks ago I had a pretty big writing melt down. I wanted to give it all up because it filled me with so much fear and anxiety, or so I thought. I like to take on a lot. It’s just a personality trait I’ve always had. I work hard, and when the task is close to complete or completed I take on more and more. Thus, causing stress and anxiety.
But I learned that the amount of work isn’t what stresses me out but the way I approach it. I always approach it like some kind of race. I compete with myself to have something done in a fast way, and each time I try to be faster and more efficient. While that can be a good thing, the strain I put on myself to alway be better than my best is exhausting. I always felt like I had to work harder than everyone else. I just never felt like I was as smart so I had to push myself harder.
So, of course that spilled into my down time. And in my down time I wrote, read, and relaxed. But relaxation somehow turned into determination. And reading and writing no longer made me happy. I could not focus on what made me love it. I was lost and I danced with the idea of giving it all up for good. And that hurt me. More than I ever imagined it would. I mean writing is literary everything to me.
So, the idea of being without it made me feel like I just lost myself. And I was miserable. But I did not know how to get back to that happy place. Sure I’ve been frustrated and thought of quitting, but never in my life did I ever think I would actually do it. I just did not see any alternative to my situation. It all stopped. It started with my magazine and then I stopped thinking of my blog. Then I closed all my word documents, that I always leave open for whenever I have an idea.
I knew that writing was not my path any longer. It was like being separated from a part of myself. I was cut off from the creative half of myself, but I was the one with the knife. I was the one who severed the tie. It was not until I was discussing my unfinished manuscript with a coworker/friend that I realized I might have made a mistake. I sent her the manuscript because she insisted that I should not quit, and I just sent it so she would stop bugging me about it.
I never thought she would like it. Because I lost all faith in myself and my abilities. So, when she loved it, it was a wake up call. I used to know that I was good at this. And somewhere along the way I lost that. The fear of mediocracy, and the fear of success paralyzed me. I just knew that I was not going to be a writer, and if I did make it I’d be a one hit wonder, or would not have anything to really say.
I painted myself into this corner with my fears. I was so terrified to move that I refused to. I closed my eyes to my imagination, and pretended it did not exist. But in doing that I was using it. I just had to realize that this isn’t easy. People think baring your soul in words is easy. Non-creative people never really understand the inner turmoil we creative types we put ourselves in.
It’s like we have to prove we are the best to prove all the naysayers wrong. But now I am back to writing for me, and to help anyone I can through my journey. If this touches you good, if not that’s fine too. Just remember this one thing when you want to give up
Everyone once was a ‘Nobody’