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. I 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, 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.