Monday, June 08, 2009

Fear of Success/Failure

True confession #4 of psychological obstacles that keep me cluttered and disorganized.

Disorganization is a convenient way of holding yourself back. (Julie, OFIO, 27)

Well, duh!

This is my issue. I want to write novels. I've wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. I loved to read. I was always reading. My parents had to lock me out of the house to make me play, rather than read.

Somewhere around 4th grade, I realized that maybe I could write one of these books that I love to read so much. I've been playing at it ever since.

However, I've never written a book. Never completed one. Except for a novella I did in high school because we were supposed to keep a daily journal for one of my classes and my own life was too boring for words, so I made it up. (It's not too bad, but it has a maudlin ending that would never fly and also some life messages that I no longer agree with.)

Although I've never written a novel, I've written a LOT over the years, including: a regular column in my junior high newspaper; an underground newspaper I wrote and published in high school; poetry in the college newspaper; short stories; song lyrics (one was picked up by a country singer in Montana, but then she decided not to record it after all); feature articles, movie and book reviews in a local paper; a non-fiction book; lots of newsletters and advertising stuff; and I blog, blog, blog my little head off.

But no novel. Why? Because that type of creativity comes from a place inside me that is highly disrupted by chaos. That was my excuse. I can't create in chaos. I didn't even try to write a novel while my children were young. About four years ago, I started working on writing seriously again—but again, the chaos and clutter keeps me from really doing it.

But that's just an excuse. The real reason I don't finish anything?

[Oh. My. Gosh. Am I really going to say this in front of the Internet?]

The real reason is:
What if I do finally finish something and it's horrible? And people hate it and they hate me and that means that I'm no good at the one thing in my life I've always wanted to do, the one thing that I told myself, "Well, I might be a lousy housekeeper/cook/mom/neighbor/whatever, but I'm secretly a good writer and people would like me if they only knew how good I could write," and if I lose that fantasy because I'm really a bad writer, then that means that I'm a bad, useless, lump of poo who doesn't deserve space on the planet and then I'll have to go eat worms and die.

Nuts enough for you?

But I'm tired of that. Really. I'm almost 50!* If I'm going to do it, I need to do it. No excuses.

The End.

*That's not too old to start (David Eddings published his first at age 47)

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