Dealing With a Recurring Challenge
For the last few days, I’ve accomplished nothing. No, wait. Let me rephrase that. I have accomplished nothing with regard to my avocation and career goals. Meanwhile, all of the bedding in the house has gone through the washer and dryer, the cat boxes are pristine, the floors vacuumed and mopped. I even put one of those little cleaning pods in my dishwasher. But I’ve written very little, and not a single blog post or pitch for someone else. I opened the document for the book I want to start revising, but that’s as far as I got.
I realize this is a recurring theme, but I am baffled as to how to break the pattern. I took Gina Horkey’s course and was gung ho about blogging for hire. In fact, I even sold a couple of posts. I sent a pitch to someone and got my first rejection. But then I started reading the emails and blog posts from Danny Margulies who claims he’s doing very well with Elance, a site I’d just about decided to drop as I was getting nowhere against too many people pitching the same job. But now, I’m not so sure.
With So Many Doors to Choose From, How Do You Know Which is Right for You?
As I said, I’ve been here before, yet, for some reason, I keep ending up right back where I started: stuck, insecure, and floundering over a simple thing I’ve done all my life; supporting myself. Why am I making it so difficult for myself?
My friend Liz posted this today, and it made me see exactly what my problem is; not just this time, but every single time. I allow my logical, accounting brain to take charge (which is never good) and it begins to analyze and ponder and weigh my options to death, thereby killing that creative spark which is what truly drives me ahead and makes me actually produce something. I really need to find a way to lock that side of me into a small, sound proofed room until it’s actually time to make business decisions. Now isn’t the time to hobble myself with elaborate business plans or projections. It’s simply the time to create and drink lots of coffee and water and get words on the page and pitches under my belt. So what if none of it is perfect? So what if I keep losing to other people. I look at the pitches or blog posts of the people who are getting the work and learn from it. I stop listening to every person who has found “the one, true way” which, coincidentally, is completely opposite of what someone else insists is what works. The fact is, everything works for someone. We all just need to find what method or combination, amalgamation or bastardization of methods works for us.
In my case I simply need to remember to trust my gut and shut that inner critic down like the Westboro Baptist Church protesting the funeral of yet another hero.
I have sticky notes framing my monitor and as I sit here, wallowing in my own frustration, I stop and read a few, which is why they’re there in the first place; to remind me, to inspire me and to build me up when I’m feeling lower than a snake’s belly. Front and center is a single word: “Faith”, for the Leap of Faith I took in quitting my job and writing full-time (or at least pretending I’m writing full-time lately). To the right of that are “I am a prolific and well-read Author” and “SHUT UP AND WRITE”. Mixed in with some story ideas, there are three along the bottom which read: “The New Year sees me becoming what I was meant to be”, “I get paid for being me” and “The gift of health is keeping me ALIVE!”. Just reading my sticky notes, sharing them with you and allowing myself to return to the place I was when I wrote them is helping a lot. Which is, of course, why those sticky notes frame my monitor in the first place.
Long ago, even before I began to follow what I believe to be my true path, I experienced frequent bouts of insecurity. Yes, it is an occupational hazard, or perhaps even part of the job description for a writer. What I realized, though, is that I needed reminders that my inner critic was not typically my friend and reminders that I needed to stay the course. I will get where I want to go as long as I keep working at it. I won’t get there if I quit or give in to the feelings of inadequacy. Hence, the reminders that I really am where I need to be, and I really am doing what I need to do. I just need to stop listening to my inner critic and all of the voices out there claiming to be the one true way to success. Instead, I need to do what feels right to me, regardless of the claims and promises of others. In most cases, they’re just trying to sell me a course they created which, to be honest is probably more a source of income to them than what they’re claiming to teach me to do. There are exceptions to that statement of course, and I believe I’ve found a few who truly care about helping others achieve their goals. Those are the ones who understand that despite their wonderful, helpful blogs and courses, we still need to stumble around in the dark a little for ourselves, finding what works, what feels right, but still a little uncomfortable. Because it is in feeling that discomfort we know we’ve pushed ourselves beyond what is familiar and what is safe (horrible word, that! Even the fiction class I’m taking treats it pretty much like a dirty word!). If I’d wanted to remain in a nice, safe little world, I’d never have left my job and jumped off of the proverbial cliff. Despite the insecurities and the periodic freak outs, I have not a single regret. I will be the first to encourage others to take their own leap of faith if they believe it is the right thing for them to do.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for reminders that I’m doing OK.
2. I am grateful for a very nice visit with my daughter.
3. I am grateful that I’m actually going to end my night at a more reasonable hour tonight.
4. I am grateful that by tomorrow, I will have mapped out (loosely) my new plan of attack and will get some serious work done.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, challenges, lessons, opportunity, love, friendship, joy, health, harmony, peace, prosperity and philanthropy.
And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting. If you get a minute, please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!