Discredit Your Inner Idiot. Go on you know you wanna! I’m fixinta do it right now. (In case you haven’t noticed I’m experimenting with made up words today.)
It’s rainy day, so my decision to leave the house will just have to wait. Instead I’ve decided to find a pair of pliers and a hammer to go to work on my inner critic.
Inner Idiot: Why start a blog? You know you never finish anything?
Real Me: Shaddup! Been blogging for almost a year now. The only thing I’ve done this consistently in my life is travel and drink beer. OK, I also read Sci Fi and tend to scare myself to death reading Steven King books when I’m home alone.
Inner Idiot: Sooo you want to be a writer. Who do you think you are?
Real Me: Uh…me? Been writing all my life, just didn’t share it that often. Actually I’m a published writer. A story I wrote got published in a national magazine for kids when I was in the 5th grade. God, I wish I could remember what the name was. Also wrote stories for the school newspaper in high school. There has just been a brief 40 year dry spell. Now that I think of it, during the corporate years, I wrote entire books. They were non-fiction. Scintillating subjects like – User Manuals, Standard Operating Procedures, Employee policy, history of a company, successful proposals to fund projects, business plans, etc. Not edge of your chair, nail-biting, stay up all night kind of stuff, but hey! I AM a writer. So bite me!
Inner Idiot: Oh come on! Every time you fire up your Kindle you are confronted with pictures of fossilized great writers from days of yore. What makes you think you can stand on the shoulders of greatness?
Real Me: Seriously? Can’t those Kindle people put a picture in there of a person is has not been in the ground for 50 years? Why do you have to be dead to be considered creative? And further more, I’ll bet cash money that I’m every bit as weird as Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein), just in different kinda way.
Inner Idiot: *Sigh, and rolls eyes* Everyone wants to be a writer. It’s an easy way to explain inactivity, if all you do is stay up late at night and stare at paper.
Real Me: Well…No, actually not everyone wants to be a writer. Percentage wise, not that many do. Come to think of it, I’ve never met anyone, in person, who wants to do this. And I’ve met a lot of people.
Inner Idiot: Well, maybe I’m beating a dead horse here.
Real me: Yea, you are. I shall sashay forth and do my thang. Nice talking to you, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
NaNoWriMo update: Fell a little behind the last day or 2, but I was ahead already so I have plenty of wiggle room.
I read somewhere that the only thing you have to do to succeed in life is just get up one more time than you get knocked down. If that is true, then I’m declaring myself a success. If or when I get knocked down again I’ll get up again.
This past week has been the pits. I feel like a got dragged backwards through a barbwire knothole. My outlet for just about anything is writing. When I sit down to make a post and realize that I’m paralyzed – that’s when I know I’m trouble. When I can’t even write it’s serious.
I started out as a child. Before you panic, I’m kidding. Not going to tell my whole life story to you…just yet. My life is an incredible adventure interspersed with incredible stress and sadness. It’s the nature of the beast when you grew up in the midst of mental illness. Despite what any experts say, insanity is contagious, you catch from your children, or parents, or siblings. Whoever in you life who is nuttier than a fruitcake. It rubs off you in some bass ackwards kind of way. What I’m diagnosed with is clinical depression.
People who don’t know me that well say “What you? You’re the happiest person I know!” Yea Yea. The class clown, the life of the party, the one cracking the jokes, the one being strong when others are freaking out. Mr. Husband reads my posts, so I know as soon as he reads this he’s going to choke on his coffee.
He’s seen the dark side. That person who gets so down that she can’t even figure out what underwear to put on in the morning, let alone make any kind of important decision. He’s seen the person who cries 48 hours nonstop, using up 4 boxes of tissue and 2 bottles of nose spray. He knows that person who only gets out of bed to get a cup of coffee to have enough energy to go back to bed.
That person is me also. Cheerfulness turns to sarcasm and cynicism fast when I’m depressed. Someone says “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Oh? When life gives you lemons you get lemon juice in your eye and choke on the seeds. Someone else says “there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud.” Phoeey on that! If you see a dark cloud, chances are a tornado is going drop down out of it and blow you house away.
When you laugh the world laughs with you, when you cry, you cry alone. I bet Mr. Husband wishes that was true on occasion. When the tears decide to come I’ll cry anywhere, a restaurant, an airplane, the Ferris wheel, zip lining across the Amazon river. OK, I haven’t really done the Amazon thing, but it’s on my list.
My latest dark cloud of doom came in the form of a slew of poison pen letters from my daughter this past week. It ended with going to the funeral of a friends mother. I stood there at that grave and thought to myself, “Self, you have spent your whole life up until now, trying to get love, or even a civil word now and then, from people who are not capable or willing to give it. You have spent your whole life trying to be strong so people can ride you around like a trick pony.”
I’m not doing it anymore. I’m tired of carrying the world around on my shoulders. It’s no damn wonder I have a crick in my neck.
On a happy note, I am managing to keep up my word count for the NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m looking forward to what the story is going to be at the end of November.
“Don’t Should on Yourself!” People told me this all the time when I used to go counseling and Al-Anon meetings. It means don’t spend time beating yourself up over what you think you should be doing, according to other people’s definition of what you should be doing, or not doing.
Sometimes I’m the master at this. I learned it from a long line of shouders and then, of course, I married a Master Shoulder. The even uglier side of the shoulding is the dreaded Should Notting. Should not do this, want this, think about this, or even let it creep into dreams.
I came home from my trip and turned into a vegetable. I should not have done that HA! See there it is again. Now I realized that what I was doing was taking the time to grieve grandson’s poor choice to leave the Guard and thereby forcing me to eject him from my home. Got past that and spent the next week feeling like I should be doing…something.
Finally, I put my foot down and said. OK dammit, Self, stop it right frigging now! Give yourself a chance to figure it out. You are retired and now you have all the time you need to let it all bubble and boil in your subterranean thoughts. It will come, you don’t need to force yourself into an activity just because you should be doing something. Sez who!
Then I got to investigating the annual NaNoWriMo contest coming in November. All you have to do to win is write a 50,000 page novel in 30 days. The purpose of doing it in 30 days is to force you to just bang it out without editing or rewriting or any other way fiddling it to death. The mere thought of this paralyzed me so severely that I didn’t write a single word for 5 days.
What happened? Well I know exactly what happened. The inner critic that sits on my shoulder started whispering in my ear. “Bleh, you never finish what you start.” Not true. “Anyone who reads the first draft of your novel will shout ‘what utter drivel’ and organize a nationwide draft burning party.” Yea, hows that for insecurity and hubris in the same fear? I will be invited to speak on CNN as the world-renowned author of the worst novel ever written. English lit teachers will buy it with the purpose of using in class as an example of how not to write.
I guess it is obvious how ridiculous my fears can get. The thing to do is switch from should to “so what?” So what if I write a 30 day novel and don’t even read it myself. So what? Just doing it is the accomplishment.