The Writing Life / Writing

Starting Over

Whoever said being a writer was easy…Okay, so here’s the deal. I start a lot of things and have a hard time finishing them. I always get so far and then, I quit. I get discouraged. The really mean inner-monologue starts saying that I don’t know anything, that I have no business doing anything, that I’ll screw up really badly and everyone will hate everything I ever do. It says, “just give up, go be an adult and get a real job.” I try to snap out of it, but the longer I sit and think and don’t type, the longer I stay frozen in panic.

“The inner-monologue has some valid points,” another part of me says. It’s true. I mess up a lot. I’ve done a few things I’m not proud of and I’ve put my foot in my mouth more times than I can count. I’ve struggled many times for different reasons and I’ve come close to failing completely. I can’t remember how to properly use commas to save my life. If you know how, and you’re reading this, then you’ve probably caught my mistakes already. The one thing I’m constant in is never, ever, letting myself forget all the ways I fall short.

And in those miserable times when it didn’t feel like life was going to get any better, there was one thing I never allowed myself to do: give up. The logic that I cling to is this: I’ve already messed up. What’s the worst that could happen from giving it another try? So I start over, and over, and over until I get it right.

Whoever is trying to bring you down is already...

With things like NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo happening this month, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. You might ride that wave of good vibes for a day or two, write a few thousand words and then the doubt will start to settle in. Your fingers start to slow, the elusive muse of creativity is suddenly on a lunch break and you’re starting to sweat the stagnate pace of your word count. I know. I’ve been there. You want to know the truth?

I had no idea what to blog about today. Absolutely none. I was afraid that fellow NaBloPoMo posters (postees?) would light the torches and gather their pitchforks and tag fraud on my comment box. My only idea was a single draft post that had only the title and two sentences started. This post.

I knew how I was feeling and I knew someone else had to be feeling it, too. I had always planned to write something like this, but I was afraid. I didn’t have pretty prose, or clever remarks, or that spectacular, genius, magic that many other bloggers I read seem to have. I wanted that (and probably still want it) as sort of validation that my words were meaningful, before I went and started to blog in my clumsy way. But I took a deep breath, stopped thinking and starting typing.

So what I’m trying to say is…Please, don’t give up. Whatever you’re dealing with, however hard life is trying to beat you down, whoever says that you can’t and however mean your inner-monologue is today, keep going. If your goal is to write something, write it all. Let it be messy, slow, clumsy, all wrong, not right, stupid, horrible, bad…There will always be a way to fix it. And if you can’t fix it, then there is always a way to learn from it.

NaBloPoMo

It’s almost four pm as I finish this. I might not make it to a thousand words today for NaNoWriMo, but I am pretty proud of this blog post. I hope it helps you. I hope you find your own shiny, magical, genius, amongst all the mundane mess of life. You can do this. Type one word and you’re already doing it. Change one mind and this post has already been worth it. Make a mistake. Start over. It’s not the end of the world, just the end of a bad day.

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