Maybe it’s just me. But I can be so fickle when it comes to my writing. I love it. I hate it. And the cycle continues. You never know when it’s going to change, either. As unpredictable as a teenager’s emotions, no? Sometimes I can let that fear rule me. Ever do that? Say, I love what I’m writing. Adore it. On a writer’s high. (Don’t you love those?) Then, softly, slowly, a voice begins to creep up behind me. It whispers things I at first don’t understand. But the longer I ride that writer’s high, the louder the voice gets. “That feeling’s going to change,” it says. I ignore it. I write joyously. (Which only seems to feed the voice.) Until finally, it’s turned into a loud, raucous group of hecklers. “Your writing, Robin? It sucks,” it yells. “Stop this very moment what you’re doing because you’ll never finish. It’ll never be good enough.”
And slowly, because their words cut like truth, I succumb. Oddly enough, it can be easier to succumb to their taunts than not. Self pity is an easy ride. Easy. Yeah, I hear myself say. It’ll never be good enough. Why bother? Hello, Pity. Please come inside and keep me warm. So I do. And I hate my writing.
What is that? Why is that? If I dig deep enough, I believe writers (actors, artists, etc.) are always on the edge of failing fearfully hard. Our vulnerability feelers are out. And at the slightest touch of doubt, of disinterest, of failure, it overwhelms us and shuts us down.
Why I give so much power to these feelers, I don’t know. Part of the journey, I suppose. Because when I finally kick Pity outside on its sorry bum, when I finally stand firm, when I finally choose to love my writing again, it only gets stronger. I’ve gained perspective. And more confidence against those wretched hecklers.
Until I’m saying, bring it on.