Dancing outside my comfort zone

Uncertainty blossoms like an atom bomb in my gut, restraining creativity and confidence

I’ve given little actual attention to my writing for the past few days, aside from reading “50 Shades of Grey” and trying to learn something from the writing. I’ve chased it around in my mind, feeling discouraged by my characters’ lack of depth. Today, I did my usual Tarot card draw and now I’m even more disturbed and uncertain.

My Romani deck gave me Death, the grim reaper standing watch above a burning gypsy wagon, his enormous scythe at the ready should anyone try to save the wagon. Death-RomaniI took this to mean that I need to face facts, do some clearing of my house, my plate and whatever else needs clearing, and maybe accept the fact that I need to change paths. The cut card was Temperance which soothed me a little as it refers to the process of tempering metals, combining them with other things like heat and other elements to make it stronger.

My Spiral deck gave me the Queen of Swords,Queen of Swords-Spiral calm in a storm but very direct. She cuts through the crap to what really matters. She was aided by the King of Pentacles, a wise, financially savvy man who might be worth listening to.

All in all, I realized that discouragement with my writing is directly tied to my lack of financial security. I’ve given myself more than a year to produce something publication worthy and I’m a long way off right now. Yes, I finally launched my website, but it, too, needs a great deal of work and I’m not really sure where to start. I have over 60,000 words of a second novel but feel like I’m not really going anywhere with it. Although I haven’t re-read it since I started the re-write in January, I have convinced myself that it is complete crap, as is “Sasha’s Journey”. I feel like my characters are just not reaching that “love them or hate them” level of depth.

As I see it, I have two choices right now

As I see it, I can do one of two things: I can chuck the whole thing, tell my creative voice to stuff it and try to go back to doing accounting for a living…for someone else who will own part of my time. OR I can give myself some more time, work harder on developing the characters, just write to the end of my latest novel and start revising the first one with the help of independent critiques. I’d like to think there’s a happy medium between the two, but I look at my dwindling bank balances and a big bolt of fear paralyzes me. Was I nuts to quit my job when I did? Do I lack the self-discipline to make this work? Should I have tried harder to get into the copywriting so I’d have at least enough income to cover my living expenses?

In truth, I am not only succumbing to the insecurity many, if not most writers experience, I’m also succumbing to the fear of homelessness, despite the fact that my resources will carry me for several years, if used wisely. My inner child screams “Won’t someone just reassure me that everything is going to be all right?” But nobody answers.

Self doubt is an insidious animal, gnawing away at your gut, your hopes and dreams dripping from its toothy maw

Some days, I feel full of hope and confidence that the path upon which I’ve embarked is exactly right for me, and that I have what it takes to make it work. But the next, I’m wallowing in my own pit of self pity, accomplishing nothing and of no use to anyone. (It occurs to me that this post would have been perfect for the first Wednesday of the month IWSG insecurity post).

By tomorrow, I will probably be 200 pages into another book on technique and may have spent some time getting to know my characters better. But today is for wallowing and for considering, if only for a moment, going back to what I know pays the bills (assuming, of course, that a company will be willing to hire someone with as short a shelf-life as I have now). To be honest, that option sends chills right up my spine. I can’t even conceive of working in an office, at someone else’s beck and call again. I’d almost rather be boiled in oil…almost.

I know there’s nothing unique in what I’m feeling. IWSG was formed because most writers are insecure (it stands for Insecure Writers Support Group). But most of the people I talk to had the good sense to keep their day jobs.

Considering the positive changes I’ve made in the last fourteen months

To be fair, I have accomplished a lot of things since I left my job. I exercise more, laugh more, keep my house cleaner and have eliminated a ton of clutter. I see my daughter often, despite her move. I’ve written nearly 200,000 words worth of creative, novelly stuff and significantly more bloggy stuff. I hug more and listen more. But best of all, I’m ill far less often than I was when I worked at a job I was beginning to dislike intensely, not because of anything in particular, just because it no longer felt like where I needed to be.

I’m where I want to be, but am I where I need to be?

In a nutshell, that is the real burning question. I am, for the most part, happy. I love setting my own hours and working into the wee hours if I so choose without worrying about my alarm shrieking long before I’m ready to awaken. I love going to the gym when most people are at work or school. But I don’t love the debt that just won’t go down or the bank and investment balances that just won’t go up.

I also know that I will find a solution. It may not be a perfect one, but it will balance my fears and my desires into something which I can live with. Until then, I will keep reading and try to keep writing. I will work on that inner voice which is bound and determined to discourage me and try to bury it for awhile longer. Why? I write not because I want to, but because I have to. It’s as simple as that. I can still do accounting work, but I don’t see myself as an accountant any more. The knowledge and skills are there, but my heart is just no longer in it, at least not on a full time basis in a place that isn’t mine.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the people who understand where I am.
2. I am grateful for my library of resources to help me get past this mountain of self-doubt.
3. I am grateful for tasks which require my attention but not my mind.
4. I am grateful for this outlet; a place to vent my spleen, no matter what might be causing me distress or joy.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, happiness, even fear as getting past it makes me stronger, support, connections, dreams, challenges, opportunities and ultimately, answers. Also for harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Blessed be

Advertisements

Comments on: "February 11, 2015 Uncertain and insecure" (7)

  1. I get it. I soooo get it. Congratulations you have arrived. I have been on the Holly Lisle writing forums since 2012 and we (writers) all feel like this at some point and some all the time, some it comes and goes.

    You are a writer right now. Publication does make a writer–the heart does and the infernal need that keeps us at it no matter the valleys we walk through at the low points and doubts. There are ups and downs, but this is cycle we all go through–I think that is truly the writers life. If we find more along the way we are blessed and some of it is luck, timing and the right connections, just sticking with it and writing everyday–practice, practice, practice as you said.

    I, too, struggle with writing due to my lack financial security–I have been looking for a job for a little over a year now. My website is set up for almost two years now. I am still writing on my novels and a few short stories. My pace has slowed, because I have allowed other things to steal my joy. That is on me I know. I am working on correcting that problem, changing my thought patterns and focus.

    The card–Death also signifies change, rebirth and transformation. Temperance balance and patience and perseverance. I too am transforming and trying to find my patience with myself and my writing.

    I took some the pressure off myself by telling myself if I publish I do, if I don’t, I don’t. I just want to play and finish my story and then I will worry if makes sense or if my characters work etc. I will just get something on paper. I will write to the end and retire my editor,until I reach the end. Finishing something, anything, especially the long work, that is the goal.

    I write because I need to write. I have always written in fun. Now I am about trying to rediscover the fun and joy that I seem to have misplaced along the journey. The heart of why and what made it a joy despite the angst and just finish the first rough draft.

    Happy Writing and Great Post,
    Juneta

    PS: This one would have been a great one for IWSG, lol.

    Like

    • Thank you, Junetta. You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head! I know that there’s still that doubt monster just waiting for a weak moment to raise its ugly head. I see him every time I choose not to completely close the door on accounting opportunities. I do know I’m in good company, and that helps. I’ve also found, as I’m reading “Writer’s Compass” that I’m not completely off the mark plot wise. I just need to go back and clean things up after I finish the first draft. I guess I have my first novel nagging at me to go back and work on the weaknesses now, yet I want to get the first draft of the second completed. So here I am, stuck in the middle and going nowhere, but like you have, I will recalibrate my compass and start moving forward again. I think taking a little side road and reading a bit about technique will help me do that. Thank you for helping me find my way back from the doldrums. (and I probably will link this post to IWSG next month!)

      Like

  2. […] each one deserves more and have something to say) 1. Kirsten AKA Lark 2. Katharina Gerlach 3. Sheri Conaway 4. Elise VanCise 5. Elena Giorgi 6. Angela Woolridge 7. Lori MacLaughin 8. Vanessa […]

    Like

  3. Hey, I have an award for you at my blog!
    My post

    Like

  4. ROFL Oops forgot the questions–They are posted now at the bottom of post. Sorry and thanks for pointing that out so quick to me. I was just getting ready to sign off.. Thank you, thank you.

    Like

Comments are closed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: