If you asked me a year ago what my greatest fear was I would’ve given you two answers: 1) failure and 2) getting to my last moments and having a pile of regrets. Being at the end and wishing I’d lived a better life would mean that I’d failed but then the fear of failure would lead to a life filled with regrets.
I love writing, it makes me happy and helps me to clear my mind and the mess that tends to build up in there. When I was younger I used to write stories as a way of making my not so thrilling life feel more interesting, I was one of those kids who was determined to write a book before I reached a certain age so that when the inevitable autobiography and award winning documentary came out I could just shrug, smile smugly and look back and say some bs about how “it just came so naturally” and “all you have to do is pick up the pen.”
8 years later and I still love to write but no longer have that childlike confidence. In a moment of boredom I decided to read through my old blog posts and some of the other things that i’d written but rather than feeling inspired and reassured I panicked. There should be a support group for people coming to terms with the realisation that they’re not as talented or smart as they thought they were.
By the end of the night I found myself lying on my bed with cheeks damper than usual wallowing in self pity at the death of a dream.I thought that because I hadn’t written anything that I was particularly proud of and had fallen out of the habit of writing regularly it was the end, the english degree I was applying for and the hours I’d spent writing editing and making revisions were for nothing. If there was a chance that this whole writing thing wasn’t going to work out or if it would be hard and a little bit stressful what was the point? why work so hard and get so emotionally invested if the odds weren’t in my favour?
Every other day I was hearing about bookshops shutting down, watching as magazines and newspapers stopped printing, hearing the stories of writers who spent years trying and failing to get published. The more I critiqued my own writing and found reasons as to why it could not work out, the more I felt that I should just give up to save myself the disappointment and embarrassment that would come from failure.
I’d gotten to the point where I spent so much time looking at the odds of being published and comparing myself to other writers that I’d just given up. I focused so much on every possible way that it wouldn’t work out and the hundreds of reasons why I shouldn’t write something that I didn’t and because I let fear control me, I failed. But only for a while.
I sat on my bed had a little cry and began to outline plan b before snapping out of it telling myself to stop being such a pessimistic wimp and started typing.
So here I am again, and hopefully I’ll stay here for a while, have a lovely inspired and hopeful week.
Love and Light
PS: the poem quoted in the title and at the top of this post was written by Erin Hanson and is one of my favourites of all time so definitely check her out here.