There is a reason behind my silence here on the site when I’ve been active elsewhere online. I’ve been avoiding writing posts for the blog here. No real excuse, but I figured out the reason recently. When I realized how I was actively avoiding doing any writing at all—both fiction and for the site—I started examining my feelings on all of it. And I realized I’m afraid of success with my writing.
I think I’ve always carried this fear with me. Looking back, I can remember my early writing days, back in the 90’s. I wrote very few short stories, even though I was aware of markets for them at the time. At least a couple of magazines, and one regularly published anthology series I could have submitted to more than the one time I actually gathered the courage to do so. I got a rejection on that one story from the anthology . . . and didn’t send anything else out. Never bothered reworking the story to send out to any of the other markets I was aware of either. I don’t recall being upset about the rejection, but I never found the courage to send the story out again. Looking back at that time, I’ve realized that could-have-been-a-success frightened me a little. My writing career was almost real. And I shied away from doing anything more with my writing.
Since then, I’ve never really moved beyond that fear. I shelved my writing to go to Colorado and ended up in the Navy and didn’t begin writing again until I returned to North Carolina after my discharge, and I was there less than a year before ending up out here in Utah, living with a very kind couple who took me in when they realized I’d be homeless in Colorado if they didn’t. I’ve fiddled with my stories for years, on several different computers, taken my writing out to other places like coffee shops and the library, suffered through a year of hell writing a genre I grew to detest until I was so emotionally and spiritually broken by it that I had to shelve my writing again, started story after story, and began the building of over an alphabet’s worth of worlds.
And through it all, I made excuses for myself so I wouldn’t succeed at my writing. My biggest one was how I’d kill my career before the first book was even published by having a depressive episode when I was supposed to be working on edits. And then Indie Publishing came along. Suddenly, my old excuse was no longer viable. It put me on the spot. So, instead of writing, I stopped. Instead of developing a good writing habit to take the place of my habit of writing when inspired, I let writing fall by the wayside.
I made it my goal to get a paying job and started doing what I needed to in order to prepare myself for getting one. The past few months, since December, I’ve added hobbies to my repertoire to fill my copious amount of free time. I’ve expanded my social contacts as well at the same time. All because I’m afraid to succeed with writing.
This is something I need to deal with in therapy. I can’t figure out what about succeeding with writing frightens me on my own. But I have figured out some things I can do to combat it, and I’ll be asking my therapist for more advice. I’m making it my goal to post something here every Tuesday from now on, even if it’s just a bunch of nonsense—I just can’t let myself worry about how it’ll be accepted as I have been, as a way to talk myself out of writing posts. Another thing I’m doing is scheduling writing time every day as well; I will work on my writing every day. This may mean I actually make progress on my fiction, or I may write a blog post; it doesn’t matter. Something writing-related will get done, even if all I do is stare at the next chapter’s header or read notes and background info over and over. I will do something with my writing.
So this is the first post of my new writing habit. It was supposed to be written Sunday, but I was exhausted and zoney and had no mind on Sunday, so I’m writing it Monday. It will post at 06:00 Tuesday the 24th. Next week, something else will go up on Tuesday morning, even if it’s only a line of nonsense. I’m making myself do this, no matter what, because I can’t let myself not succeed with writing. Being a professional writer of fiction has been my dream for too long to give up on it now.