So, I follow a writer who apparently is doing so well with her writing that she can afford a second home in Scotland. All these books published. So much experience. And yet, not a week goes by, it seems, where she doesn’t complain about how hard it is to write a book.
Some people look up to her and think: Oh wow. Insecurity NEVER GOES AWAY! How effing refreshing that a successful writer still feels awful about her writing. That makes me feel so the total opposite of alone! Yay!
Me? I look at her and think: Really? You’re still having problems? Why do I even bother then?
Not to throw shade or whatever, but I find that really heartbreaking and annoying. I don’t want to look at a successful writer and see them flailing around on the regular. It’s horrifying.
I mentioned this meme I found on a Facebook group last year of a conversation between Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, and I said I wanted to be like Stephen King. Of course, I mean, the chill 70+ year old Stephen King who doesn’t worry about his writing and just does whatever. When he was my age, he was a super crazy writer and quite famously trashed Carrie some years before – a book that was rescued from the bin by his wife and later turned in a good but crazy movie starring the incomparable Sissy Spacek. I’ve also seen Stephen King himself say that he’s publicly quit writing too many times to count, only to come out with another book a year later, because once he took the pressure off himself, he could finally write again. This is the same guy who is a household name, legend, icon, whatever. Same guy flailing around at twenty, thirty, and forty-something with Carrie and Pet Cemetery, and The Green Mile under his belt!
In my mind, I believe there’s this happy field I can get to where I don’t beat myself up about my writing, flail around with every story, don’t take long breaks because I’m being neurotic as hell. Maybe that other writer will get there when she’s 70…like 40 years from now. I don’t know how old she is. Maybe I’ll be there when I’m 70. It’s just super frustrating to see a successful writer flailing so often. It makes me feel like there’s no hope for anything, and the only way I’m ever going to be at peace is to become an old lady. I want peace now, dammit!
In some way, I see where other people are coming from when they’re happy to see successful writers flailing around as often today as the day they started writing. It’s like, they’re crazy and neurotic and anxious and still manage to write and spin out incredible stories anyway.
So, in that way, it’s encouraging to know that I can stay crazy and still write a great book. I guess I just don’t want to be crazy anymore. It’s exhausting. The other day I was journaling about how overwhelmed I was with how many YouTube videos I watch, and it’s amazing how something so asinine would have me so upset. It’s like, so stop watching videos, dummy! Gah. And I did get them under control. I unsubscribed from a few people. Watched a few videos on 2x speed. Gave up on a couple others.
But it’s like. It wasn’t just the YouTube videos. There were writing articles I wanted to read, and webinars to watch, and podcasts to listen to, and social feeds to scroll through, and dishes to wash, and sleep to get, and poems to read, and books to read, and a story to write, and mail I needed to go through, and journaling to do so I can get all the little annoying stray thoughts out of my head, and I still need to change my shower filter, so of course I feel like a nut case! All those little things pile up on each other until I want to BURN THEM ALLLLL!
The quote on my quote calendar this month is: I consider chaos a gift. (Septima Clark) Ha.
I think I was overdue to have a meltdown on the blog.