Originally published at blackanddarknight.wordpress.com on September 30, 2011.
I’ve had one of those weeks – one where I set out to be super productive and ended up accomplishing very little. I meant to have a short story edited and sent to my (new and many!) critique partners. Didn’t happen. There’s still tomorrow, right?
Except for the fact that I’m going to the zoo with my mom and sister tomorrow. Possibly my brother, also. I’m not about to pass up a free visit to the zoo.
Sadly, I seem to be having a lot of ‘those days’, ‘those weeks’, or ‘those months’ lately. Then I decided to start thinking about ‘why’.
Confession #1 – I have an innate fear of humiliation.
I don’t know where this fear stems from. I’ve mentioned it to people before, and they all look at me like I’m crazy, because they say that everyone has that fear.
Does anyone else wake up in the middle of the night from a dream of something that they actually did/had happen to them that completely humiliated them? I do. Not all the time, thank God, but too often. I feel the embarrassment today as much as I did back then, whether it be a month ago or years ago.
As a writer, I fear that my best efforts will be laughed at. While I have the advantage of being an avid reader with a vivid imagination, my disadvantage is that I’m not strong in grammar. Most of the stuff I write is okay, but I can’t analyze anything too in-depth for the most part. I just write it so that it makes sense.
(Author Note, June 2016 – I have come to realize that part of this is because I’m an INTJ. I do intuitive leaps and decisions really well. Ask me how I got to my conclusion? Pffffffffft. No idea.)
Confession #2 – MOST days, it’s really hard to write.
Not because I don’t want to write, but because I’m tired. Or the cat won’t shut up. Or cough certain people call me non-stop. Or I have to run errands for someone . . .
Or because I’m avoiding writing. I want to write, but I hate editing. And I really don’t enjoy figuring out plot holes. Sometimes, I just plain old don’t enjoy writing.
And yet I’m compelled to do it. Most of the time, when I sit down and start doing it, I’m happy. It’s just before I’m actually working on it that I’m not.
Confession #3 -A lot of the time, I don’t write because I’m physically in pain.
I need to work out. My core is not strong enough. It also doesn’t help that I have a lingering shoulder injury from a couple years ago. And recently, it seems that my fingers have been aching. My knees have been hurting a lot too, though I’m fairly certain that’s because the weather is changing.
Anyone have an ‘finger strengthening’ exercises? Do those even exist?
Confession #4 -There’s always something ‘more important’ to do.
Like today, paying the rent and informing the landlord that we have cockroaches invading the dishwasher takes priority.
Trust me, it was not fun to open my just-run dishwasher this morning and see SIX ********** COCKROACHES, two of which were MATING, crawl out! I will be hand washing all of those dishes now.
I think everyone will agree that all of that really is more important that writing today.
Confession #5 – Procrastination is my worst enemy.
I am not speedy. Because I am not speedy, and can only accomplish half of what many people can in a day, I often feel like it’s not worth it for me to do anything.
Almost every day I sit down with a list of what I want to get done. My problem is that I know that anything on that list is going to take me an hour at the minimum. By the time I get all my housework done (including meal prep), the day is pretty much gone. I’ve already learned that it’s pretty much impossible to write after my husband gets home from work because he wants to talk. And show me random youtube videos that I really don’t care to see. And talk.
My problem is that I focus best in the evening. And I don’t get to write then.
So I procrastinate. And then I go to bed every night disappointed in myself because I didn’t accomplish anything that day except housework.
But if I write instead of doing housework, I feel like an utter failure in the morning when I get up and realize that I have to wash all the dishes from the day before.
My hope is that by confessing this, I’ll be responsible, because then people will know what I struggle with, and I’ll want to do better. Disappointing myself is one thing . . . disappointing someone else is a different matter entirely.
Author Note, June 2016 – We are now in a house where there are NO COCKROACHES, thank God. But there is always something more important to do. But don’t berate myself as much about the things I can’t accomplish in a day. With age comes wisdom, and I am fully embracing the wisdom of “His mercies are new every morning.”
Mischelle SandowichJuly 1, 2016 - 10:15 am ·
Sometimes I feel that “life” gets in the way of my writing. But I am constantly reminded that “life” is my first calling before God: my family, my church, my friends, and my home must come first. Sometimes I have to force an attitude adjustment because I just want to write.
Rebekah LoperJuly 1, 2016 - 10:29 am ·
I’m slowly coming to be at peace with the fact that I don’t think I’ll ever have what I call ‘One True Calling’. I’m multidimensional and pursue many interests both so that my life is interesting, and so that when I do write, I can do so WELL.
But that means writing often takes the back burner. Family, of course, comes first, and God. Then all the other things, including writing.
Henrietta M RossJuly 1, 2016 - 10:54 am ·
I can completely understand the fear – writing my own first novel and struggle with self doubt. Also I can appreciate how it can be hard to find the time. I’m very strict with myself as I am a avid procrastinator and although I am happy when I am writing, actually picking up my fingers to get to work is the hard part.
Please don’t beat yourself up. There is a group on Facebook called Ten Minute Novelists, might be of use to you, if not already a member.
The writers life is never straightforward.
Mr. BillJuly 3, 2016 - 7:42 am ·
Thanks for the post. Actually the trip to the zoo will help with the lack of writing. It will get your mind of the writing and onto something else.
jazzfeathersJuly 7, 2016 - 12:40 am ·
I can relate to a lot of this. I think that all creative people (not just writers) have the fear to be laughed at, or ignored, or criticised by people who don’t understand.
But I think this comes with the creation act. It’s a very personal, I’d almost say intimate act, and it’s only natural that not everyone will understand.
But when people do understand… that’s an awesome feeling 🙂
Don’t give up!!!