And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
They say that if you do something regularly for two weeks, it becomes a habit. I’m trying to establish many good habits right now that relate to my writing.
- Writing in my blog every day, and keeping it writing-related
- Writing a little bit of fiction every day
- Plotting for the next moves in my three projects
- Discovering the joy of podcasts and listening to writing-related ones on the way to and from work/school
- Going to bed at a more decent hour
- Working out and eating right so that I have more energy
- Keeping my workspace more clean and organized
- Getting out of the house and going to find inspiration in life
- Reading books that relate to the genres I’m writing for
- Spending less time on the computer
It’s been a challenge, between social anxieties and depression, and not having the energy because of school and fibromyalgia. But it’s starting to pay off. I’m starting to feel a lot more inspired, and I’m starting to believe in my own abilities again.
But speaking of podcasts, I want to mention one in particular. I’ve been a longtime fan of the space opera webcomic Schlock Mercenary. Howard Tayler and Brandon Sanderson (of the-guy-who-is-finishing-The-Wheel-of-Time fame) and a couple of others have this brilliant podcast called Writing Excuses. In 15 minutes, they take one topic about writing and basically treat it as though they were on a panel. There’s discussion, a book of the week, and at the end of the episode, there is always a writing prompt.
I’ve been finding that listening to these 15-minute episodes to and from class in the morning has really been getting my creative brain going. More than that, it’s good to hear other writers talking about the writing process, and it reassures me that those who have made it have been exactly where I am at some point. I feel like I get what they’re saying. More than that, I feel as though I could be right there with them discussing it.
Does this mean I’m finally confident enough in my skills to admit to myself that I might be good? I mean, I don’t want to develop an overinflated ego… but is there any harm in acknowledging my own talent instead of trying to convince myself that everyone else is better than me? Is it perhaps time to let myself out of the bud in which I’ve kept myself wrapped up tight?
I think my biggest fear of blossoming is dying. Autumn comes to us all; every flower wilts and every mortal dies. But better to go out having blossomed to the fullest, than to die closed and alone when the frost comes. It is a risk indeed to go out of your comfort zone, and self-sabotage and defeatism occupy said comfort zone. It’s going to take time, and I’m glad that I can accept that I have to give myself time and notice my talents and my strengths instead of focusing on the negatives.
I think what it comes down to in the end is that the writer is as much a work-in-progress as the work itself. If I can’t get myself straightened out, how am I supposed to help my characters/plots do the same?