Self-sabotage: I don't deserve success

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Words to avoid

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RK Wallis

rk.wallis@myyahoo.com
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Feb 15, 2019
Australia

What a great blog post Kirsten Lamb has written.

I love this line from the "Part 2" link (where KL talks about The Martian) in the above post:

"Not everyone has the rhino skin to be corrected publicly, but if we do? We grow up way faster."
 

What a great blog post Kirsten Lamb has written.

I love this line from the "Part 2" link (where KL talks about The Martian) in the above post:

"Not everyone has the rhino skin to be corrected publicly, but if we do? We grow up way faster."
Very interesting post, Rachel. Thanks for putting it up there.

I haven’t read all the links yet as I have to get up and get on. But it did spark some answering thoughts.

As you guys all know, I came to writing quite late in the day. Before that, I would have described myself as a visual artist.
But I did, always, know I was an artist — I was not just ‘artistic’.

What is the difference?

It is in how I think, not what I do. It is in how my brain connects with the world, whether I’m actively producing ‘art’ or not.
It is not something I can neither switch off or change.
But I can develop it. Constantly.

And for the past ten years, I’ve been engaged in studying the craft of writing. And my life-long love of words, plot, character and story seems to be finding its feet there.
I am becoming a writer.
And, like the above, I notice it is now in the way I think, and the way my brain relates to the world.

My favourite tutor at Uni said, ‘if you’re reading, you’re writing.’
By which she meant if you’re a writer, then when you read (and I’d add or watch a film) your mind is enjoying it on one level — but on another level it is noticing the prose, the character-building, the plot structure, and making mental notes about what works and how to utilise it.

If I never paint another picture (or, if we’re honest, chuck more knives in paint), I’ll still be an artist, through and through.
And I think the same is true for being a writer. It’s who we are, regardless of output.

But what a waste of that gift not to use it, right? And what an extraordinary thing it is to really hone one’s craft, in any discipline, (whether it be art or music or writing).

So don’t doubt yourself when you’re not putting pen to paper (by which I mean finger to keyboard, but it really doesn’t scan), because you know, inside, what you are.
You are a writer.
Period.
 
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You know, a thought occurs to me.

Recently, I've been agonising over my cover letter. The Synopsis is done, the book is done; and at the moment, the cover letter is about as good as I can make it....
but I'm not submitting. I keep opening Gmail, hovering over the send button and then, after a few moments of internal screaming, I close Gmail.
At first, I thought it was because I was afraid my letter wasn't good enough and I'd get rejected, but now I realise rejection isn't what I fear.
However unlikely, I fear success.
I'm afraid of an agent saying: "OMG yes!" and then my life changing to include deadlines and *gasp* expectations.
It's crippling to the point that rejection is almost preferable.

So I don't click send.
Instead I retreat back into my computer and write my next novel, fully aware that I'll start this dance again when its finished.

self sabotage is a hell of a drug.
 
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