Back when I was an aspiring writer, I had a hard time actually…well, writing. I was a perfectionist with low self esteem (still am) and that mentality definitely gets in the way of getting first draft pages done when the weasels of doubt come a-callin’.
These are a few of my diary (not blog!!) entries from back then. This was just prior to my taking writing seriously and getting some real work done as I fiddled with my first book (as yet unpubbed). If you’d told Michelle from the year 2000 that she’d be writing four books a year nine years later, she probably would have laughed in your face. And then thrown up. In your face.
The point of this post is to say, even if you’re feeling like I was below… it is possible. Just keep writing! The only real failure is giving up before you’ve even given yourself a real chance!
September 10, 2000
I actually didn’t think I’d be able to manage it, but I did manage to not work on the book for even a solitary moment this whole weekend.
What an accomplishment! At this rate, I may never actually finish it. Wow. To be able to deny following through on a lifelong dream is really something and I should be very proud.
Or I should stop being a smart ass and figure out how to proceed as painlessly as possible.
October 9, 2000
Oprah said today to begin to see or make the changes in your life, you must first be honest with yourself about the nasty little lies that you think help, but are really hurting. Speaking as a woman constantly in denial, this may be something.
–It’s a joke that you say you want to be a writer but you never write
–The muse is unlikely to appear anytime soon
–Writing is hard work that may not lead to financial freedom
–You may never get published
October 17, 2000
I’ve been doing some relatively deep thinking on the subject of my stagnant writing career. And these are the thoughts I’ve had:
1) I could be a great writer
2) Writing is hard work
3) One must actually “write” to be able to call themselves a “writer”
Just like with exercise, I am not going to wake up one morning and go: “Gee whiz, I feel like going for a 10km run.” I will not (doubtful) wake up at 4:00am with the muse leading my fingers to the keyboard.
Persistent and Consistent
I have those words taped to my computer at work to remind me what success takes.
I guess I just don’t believe in myself and my abilities enough. But I gotta get over that. Big time.
December 4, 2000
When can I write? When would be the most feasible time for me to get my ass in a chair for an hour (just a godamned hour!) a day.
Right now (11 pm) is bad because I’m tired and it’s too easy to say — I’ll start tomorrow.
Probably the best time would be when I get home from work – after I’ve had dinner. Of course my mind now tells me that – hey – that’s exercise time. Uh, yeah. And the week I exercise seven times will be a miracle. I exercise (if I’m lucky) 4x per week. That leaves me at the bare minimum…gee whiz…four hours more than I currently devote to writing.
This passion must be developed and nurtured. My talent is very shy and easily intimidated. But it is there – hiding in the shadows. Reach down far enough and it just might bite your hand off.