I’ve been working on a piece about the true meaning behind procrastination. Or, what was behind mine. This month’s “the Writer” beat me to the punch.
There are many similarities in my piece and an article called Take 5 Deep Breaths– Then Write by S. Kay Murphy.
So, I’ll just share a couple of points we agreed on:
We tend to justify the time we don’t spend writing with busy life excuses, yet we make time for things like TV, reading, blogging, cleaning grout… Why?
Many reasons, but the main one is writing takes emotional commitment. Some of us are afraid. We find excuses to avoid doing something that can ultimately lead to failure and rejection.
Whenever I used to see the first star of the night, I made a wish for more self-confidence. (Okay, yeah, I wished more on the lines of world peace stuff an awful lot), but if I selfishly took my own wish, it would be for an end to my own heavy insecurities. I let those insecurities shut my writing down for years.
It’s not something that will happen again because I learned that I didn’t have the emotional maturity to tackle the deep writing I wanted as well as the publishing aspects of this business back then. I took rejection hard.
I grew up surrounded by rejection. Not my immediate family, no, they were unfortunately included in the rejection from all the rest of the family. Big family, too. One that practiced a religion that emphatically rejects anyone who doesn’t believe the same way. There was such harsh judgemental-ism, their disgust and disappointment in us rolled off them in waves. It made me and my siblings so sensitive, it took us years as adults to realize they were the ones who were wrong.
Another aspect of my lack of confidence came from being the new kid every two years growing up. We moved a lot. While I later appreciated it for the more rounded education I received on places, people, culture and yes, different religions, it was hard walking into a new school so often and facing the stares in the cafeteria.
So, when I first started sending my writing out, I deflated– big time– with every rejection.
But I grew up.
Later than a lot of adults, but I made it. I came into the realization that I “am” a valid human being. My opinions and beliefs are mine and they are just as important– even if they differ from those opinions and beliefs around me.
In my life, this is working. This is a little more like how I feel most days.
I still struggle “while” I’m writing– only now the struggle has more to do with a deep-rooted frustration with my vision vs. what comes out on paper. This is pretty standard with most writers, I believe. <g>
Yeah, rejection can still be rough, but what a person can do with their own thoughts can be much, much, more difficult.
My advice is to quiet that mind. Take a few minutes to let everything flush away then write. It’s easier to just fall into the story that way. And those times when you disappear into the work and it comes alive are the best, aren’t they?
I’m leaving you today with some of my favorite quotes from a very smart lady– Eleanor Roosevelt:
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
“Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”
And my favorite?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”