I had a bit of a realisation today during my ‘morning pages’. (Yes, I write three pages long-hand every morning. You might think it’s a cliche but it’s the absolute best writing advice I have ever received. Well, it’s the best advice I’ve ever received and actually put into action!)
My realisation was that all my life I’ve been a bit of a surface dweller. I have always had the great fortune to be what I call a ‘high-functioning loony‘. Hey, I might be a weirdo that doesn’t really fit in anywhere, but I always manage to be a high-achiever. It has literally, just this second, occurred to me that being a high-achiever was probably not good for fitting-in but the heart wants what the heart wants. I wanted to be the best damn ‘whatever‘ I could be, even if it got me mostly ostracised for my trouble and it usually did.
Because I could do the bare minimum and still do pretty well, there was always the temptation to do just enough to get the results I needed, whether in my study or work life. I’ve started big on a lot of projects but tended to run out of steam, leaving me the option of bailing altogether, which I did fairly regularly, or skating along on the surface, hoping for a Steven Bradbury style finish (If you don’t know who Steven Bradbury is, google him. He’s an Australian speed skater.)
My artwork was always just good enough to get by but I could never seem to go deeper, plumb the depths of meaning and get anywhere near the good stuff. I look back now and see how much shame I had around trying to be a painter and so much fear of being seen, and found wanting. I felt like a fraud.
I’m so free now. For whatever reason, I don’t carry the same fear and loathing around writing that I did about my painting which finds me committed to the deep dive into my writing, come hell or high water.
A couple of days ago I wrote a post about setting my writing goals and owning up to the fact that I would like to be offered a publishing contract, to be a known writer, to achieve that traditional ‘success’. It seemed to resonate with a lot of people and gathered quite a few reads, likes and follows.
I was quite chuffed to wake up to lots of notifications and likes. That’s nice. Thank you!
But then I wrote another post on Nanowrimo and expecting a similar result, I checked my notifications this morning. 1 like! I’d like to say I was disappointed but thankfully after years of self-work I was calling bullshit on myself before my feet hit the floor! It’s so seductive, isn’t it?