My mind is a mixed bag of an array of fragmented things.
Only when I write does it settle down and let me concentrate.
Focus on that specific task, and then when I need to leave it for whatever brief reason, it continues to remain steady, the words and ideas keep forming there to keep me in a place I need to stay in order to get the work done.
The term multi-task does not apply.
I’m also prone to impatience, which is changeable so not something I need to spend a whole lot of time thinking or worrying about in my daily go-nowhere, do-nothing grind.
However, being unemployed, broke, and lonely are altogether different and things I’d rather not spend any amount of time contemplating or anguishing over since I continue to try and continue to fail to be recognized, selected, or called upon to help in this world.
So, I write. It feels good. I’m a worthwhile human being in that instance, which makes the writing all the more meaningful … if only to me.
I also break promises. Not to others, but to myself. Like, staying off the internet and just concentrating on my writing. I’m not very faithful to myself in that regard, but then I remind myself that one of the things I start out doing is searching for help, advice, and the possibility of there maybe being something out there that’s just right for me, that someone will actually take interest and say ‘sure, c’mon in and let’s talk about hiring you for this or that job.’
Or, it’s about wanting to learn more about my writing. Writing in general. What I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong and how to improve upon or change those aspects to make my writing better.
Along the way, though, these online searches have a tendency to stray far off course, leading me down paths I hadn’t intended, wanted, or even imagined wanting to venture down when the search began.
I browse book websites, blogs about books, and articles about best-sellers, cover art, and Indie versus Traditional publishing options. By the time a few of these unexpected moments have passed, I’m left to doubt my own worth again.
See, it takes money to become someone great. It takes ingrain, natural ability to shine otherwise. You need to be young and beautiful for your ‘whatever’ blog to skyrocket in fandom.
“Sure, we’ll push your book … for $25 a day.” and “Low-cost cover art starting at $500.” “Writer’s Conference for $1,499.” and “Agent available for a reasonable fee.”
Reasonable for someone like me is free. Or, help me now, and when I start selling, you get a cut of the profits type deal.
It’s depressing, ego-deflating, and not at all helpful to someone like me, in my position, and with my nil online status to be able to make a go at anything much less getting published, noticed, or even read for free.
Which is why I keep promising myself not to go there anymore, read all that successful-ness, and look at all the happy people doing what I want to do but have no way of breaking into that world. It doesn’t help me at all to see what’s possible and yet know that without money it just isn’t going to become reality for someone like me.
I think about what I wrote and self-published, I think about all of the negative press about self-publishing, and then I start to think that what I wrote isn’t good enough. No one is looking at it, no one is searching for it, and no one is even downloading the free bits. Those who did aren’t telling me what they liked and didn’t like.
I contemplate removing the thing from that self-publishing website and chucking the whole idea down the drain.
Then comes the night, and my eyelids grow heavy, so I save my writing, turn off the laptop, and crawl into bed with a book. I pick up where I left off and become absorbed in a fantasy world created by a fellow writer like me. The words seem familiar to me, the style, the tone, and suddenly my spirit is renewed.
I can breathe easy now; even smile. I can say with honesty and integrity that this author isn’t unlike me, and that my writing isn’t worse than others I’ve read. That my voice is unique yet timely, and yeah, damn it all, I’ve got something worth saying, too.
I reach Neil Gaiman’s point about letting go and moving on, and I struggle with the doubts, but I continue to write because it’s what I do best.
A useful article about this very topic: Stop Asking Yourself … states the obvious, but it never hurts to read buck-up language when the blues strike your soul.