Doldrums and Reality Checks

Oh hello, Doldrums, I wasn’t expecting to meet you again quite so soon after our last underwhelming encounter. But here you are at every junction and fork in the road, my little friends the inner critic and the procrastination monkey sitting stoically by your side.

So, what’s it to be this time, Doldrums? Because you really have done the not-good-enough theme to death now. What’s that? Oh, you’re playing the even-if-you-were-good-enough-so-are-loads-of-others card. I see. At least you’re showing some originality for once. Top marks for that.

Yes, I suppose you’re right, Doldrums, there are a great many talented writers out there who are already taking a slice of the pie, and the laws of physics (or maths? I never was good at those subjects) would decree the pie is getting smaller. And yes, it’s probably also true to say that – talent or no talent – my chances of getting anywhere near the pie in the first place are slim.

But you know what, Doldrums? I just read a news headline about a girl who is dying of cancer at 29. So whilst there is breath in my thirty three year old body I will NOT give up on this dream of mine-despite what you, my critic and my monkey might do to try and change my mind. Until next time…

image

Nurturing the garden of the soul

Discipline with writing (amongst other things) is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life, which is the very reason for my setting up this daily blog nine months ago. I’ll admit the quality of the posts has varied wildly depending on my state of mind and situation but, irrespective of that and in spite of some close calls, I’m proud to be more than two thirds of the way through the year and to have, thus far at least, fulfilled my challenge of posting something every day.

Whilst I can’t say I feel all that different, per se, as a result of my writing challenge to date, I am starting to notice a quiet confidence building inside me, a sense of inevitability as, dare I say it, I inch closer to fulfilling my writing ambition. I’m not sure I can even now surmise what the depths of that ‘ambition’ might be. All I know is that the need to write is as much a part of me as my limbs, my synapses and my brain cells, and even if I never reach the heady heights of success as a published author I will at least have always stayed true to what I am.

I still have moments of gross and almost paralysing self-doubt, and I still kick myself daily for not trying harder, writing smarter, being better. But the fact is this: I DO write every day, and that’s more than many self-proclaimed writers can claim. And, slowly but surely, I’m beginning to understand the importance of nurturing the seed of potential with self-belief, rather than letting it wither and die among the weeds of doubt and disappointment.

Riding the wave

This week my first paid commission as a freelance writer has come to fruition – in the August issue of Venture Travel Magazine – and I have to say it feels amazing to finally see my name in print. More amazing, in fact, than I’d dared to imagine, and all of a sudden I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm and purpose where my writing is concerned that in recent weeks and months had begun to dissipate.

Much as my inner critic would like me to believe I’m not good enough to be a ‘proper’ writer, and my monkey mind would have me swinging endlessly from one type of writing to another (never able to decide which one to pursue and therefore never pursuing any at all) this little victory tells me my writing is good enough, and that the only person blocking the path to success is me.

My beautiful friend Emma Charlotte Bridget Bailey, who is getting married next weekend and who, as coincidence (or fate) would have it I also happened to meet on the same travelling adventure as the one from which my article for Venture Travel Magazine was gleaned, sent me this quote today as encouragement to keep going with my writing:

Brutus:

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.

“Ride the wave and see where it takes you” was Emma’s advice, and I see no reason whatsoever not to take it 🙂 xx