Blog post

Creating and self doubt

It’s been a struggle the last several days to think positively about my writing goals. Yes, we are only eighteen days into 2016. I expect my blog will have lots of highs and lows expressed here.

Today at work we did an exercise where you share your goals and whatnot with your coworkers, and one question was “What’s holding you back?” or something along those lines. Well, really, it’s me. I’m holding myself back, and simultaneously motivating myself and tearing myself down is exhausting.

Part of this is because I’ve actually talked to people about writing. This is wonderful! This is great! I’m trying to tell my introversion to chill out and share my passions with people I work with, and friends and acquaintances online. Co-workers have asked to read the project I’m currently focused on, and others have offered to look at parts of it for me. They ask how my writing is going, and if I’ve written, what I’ve written. I’m incredibly touched by this, but also scared, because the things we create can feel so private and personal, and once you share something it’s out there forever, even if you only share with one person. It’s not just yours anymore. It is uplifting and intimidating that people are interested in what I’m doing.

This is where the second part of my struggle comes in, because I start being mean to myself. “You’ll never be as good as all your favorite authors, so why are you even trying? Why are you still putting words together when they’ll all a pile of crap? You suck at description, and your pacing is terrible, so you might as well give up. You are never going to be as good as any other writer you know, so just stop and save yourself the time and frustration.”

It is a horrible mindset, and one I find myself in frequently. When I get like this, I remind myself that stories happen in stages. My current pass through it will not be the final one. I can go back and work more on the description and fill it in after I’ve made a more structured first draft. I know that I will go through the revision process a few more times, and that my first attempt is not supposed to create a flawless, beautiful shining product. I know this, and yet I expect this of myself, because I want to tell stories and move people the way I’ve been moved by my favorite stories.

I need to take my own advice and stop comparing myself to others.

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Blog post

My 2016 Goals

We are a few days into 2016. Hello and welcome to the new year! I know that there is no reason to wait to make goals for the new year to come around, that I can decide to make changes any time I want, but I still like to set at least a few goals when the new year starts.

Health:

  • Eating better in general. I already started working on this the last quarter of 2015 and want to maintain this and keep doing better.
  • Exercise more, too. You know, typical New Year’s Resolution things.

Home:

  • DECLUTTER. I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo in 2015 and this approach to cleaning and decluttering is simple yet amazing. I’m so tired of looking around my bedroom and seeing a mess, and I feel like every time I clean it just gets messed up again, so I’m excited to start implementing this method to my space, especially since this seems like it is easy to maintain, too.
  • Setting aside more money to save up for moving to the city. Ever since I was young (around 12 to 13 years old, I’d say) I dreamed of living in a big city. Back then it was New York. I’m almost 30 now, and still haven’t actually been to New York, but I do love Columbus, and I’ve wanted to make the move for years.
  • It would be great to either be on the way to lining up a job down there, or a living situation, and ideally have both set up by the end of the year!

Finances:

  • Paying off student loans. Forever and ever.

Writing:

  • Finish my first run of edits through my current project by the end of June.
  • Write my short story contribution for our local writing group’s anthology project.
  • Research more for my post-apocalyptic romcom. It’s a thing. It’s a steaming pile of poo right now, but it’s a thing that exists.
  • Query agents? Determined by the success of the edits of my rough draft, oh god.

Internal:

  • I’m relatively private about where I am in my spiritual path, and that is due in large part because I haven’t quite figured that out for myself, but I’ve mentioned casually that I am studying divination, and I’m starting to feel more like the term “kitchen witch” may fit me better than anything else. I don’t necessarily think that I follow a deity or deities, but I do believe in energy. I’ve had success with my pendulum, and would like to devote more time to my tarot cards.
  • Letting go of fear and letting it control my decisions, especially fears of my past. While nothing shady lurks back there, it does have a lot of guilt, and I have to trust myself to be strong enough to deal with that now if I want to be successful in other aspects of my life.
  • Do better at keeping in touch with loved-ones. This ties to my previous bullet point; I have this terrible habit of being incredibly mean to myself and semi-regularly there is a part of me that says “No one wants you around, and they would be better off without you in their lives” and on occasion I believe it, and tell myself that if I’m wanted, they’ll reach out first. Rationally, I know this is not the case and that all relationships work both ways. I need to stop sucking at letting the people I care about know that they are important to me.

This is a rather intimidating list, but also looks doable. I desperately want it to be doable. 2016, here I come.