I’m going to try something a little different for IWSG today: Motivation! (Ah! Don’t you close this page. Yes, you. I saw you twitch your finger to go on to a different post. Stop twitching until the post is finished, please. Then you can gripe about how I wasted 10 minutes of your life.)
Someone in a group I lurk on is planning on writing a piece regarding writers and disappointment.
I’m reaching for something to blog about, so I’ll snake that. I don’t think it’s really plagiarizing, since the person in question is asking for people to write her about it so she can combine the stories together into a coherent narrative, whereas I’m just going to blather on by myself about the subject without the benefit of outside input (coherence may or may not follow).
Everyone’s got disappointment. Your family keeps hinting (or outright saying) you’re not cut out for writing. Your spouse supports you morally, but maybe not so much in any other fashion. Every agent you’ve pitched to has returned form letters indicating your work isn’t marketable at this time. People say they’ll read beta your work and then don’t actually do it. There’s hail damage on the roof (dammit), children’s activities that interfere with EVERYTHING (seriously, do we HAVE to go to art night at your school? I have a bachelor’s in art with three years collegiate professional backstage theatre experience, I understand how to make “art” without using traditional media.), you didn’t work out in the pre-dawn hours (again), Aunt Sally’s annual gift of a wretched Christmas sweater (what color is hamster puke?), the dog took a dump on the living room rug (I just let you out and back in again!!) and there’s no chocolate or coffee anywhere in the house (it’s a detox week).
Disappointments abound. Every. Day. And there is very little to be done about it.
A lot of times we let disappointment pile up. One little thing after another until we feel like we’re carrying this huge load of unwashed undies, burnt pies and shattered dreams (which sometimes smell pretty bad themselves. I’m just saying…) The weight will drive you to your knees. The force of it will knock the wind from your lungs. You will swear that the disappointment is a personal insult of some kind, diabolically masterminded by some demon to drive you insane (or drive you away from whatever it is you want to be doing at the moment). THE UNIVERSE HATES ME!!!!!
Something to remember: While disappointment isn’t personal, it is universal. Everybody is disappointed about something. There is no dastardly plot constructed by the universe to pick on you, specifically. It may feel like it, but there isn’t. Disappointment picks on everybody. It’s Disappointment’s job to pick on everybody.
When disappointment knocks you down, it is very tempting to stay down. Why bother getting back up, right? That big bully is just going to kick your ass again.
Well, yes. That’s true. The bully Disappointment will jump out randomly to give you another Atomic Wedgie when you least expect it, in front of your current crush, inflicting horrible psychological trauma the likes of which psychologists love to write papers about.
Sadly, you cannot affect a school transfer to get out of the situation.
All you can do is try again. Maybe the same thing, maybe turn the problem on its head and go at it from a different angle – a different path to class, maybe; a different recipe; writing backwards; self-publishing; looking at your own habits and changing up your schedule to match; don’t cook and text while doing laundry at the same time (burned soggy sock pie – not a family favorite).
When disappointment knocks you down, you have two choices:
- Whine about it
- Get up, brush yourself off, and try again, perhaps from a different angle (I’ll let you decide whether or not you want to look Disappointment in the eye and say “you hit like a little bitch.”)
I could pull out the sage phrases my father used to say: it builds character; you’ll be stronger for it; winners never quit, blah, blah, blah.
But really, disappointment is a daily thing. What happened to disappoint you isn’t what matters, it’s what you do afterwards that matters.
And let’s face it, proving Disappointment wrong is absolutely delicious.
There are some out there who will call me a hypocrite when looking at my previous posts to compare it to this one, but now I’m going to pull the mom card:
Do as I say, not as I do.
Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or just general pneumatophobia.