There is this poetry contest I was excited to enter. I had this wonderful idea for a poem and have been tweaking it for weeks now. As the deadline looms; however, I’ve found my enthusiasm waning and self-doubt rearing its ugly head. Does this happen to other writers? Have any of you decided to enter a contest or submit something to a publication only to experience these feelings? I keep telling myself that my work has just as much of a chance as anyone else. And I’ll never know unless I try and multiple other platitudes that sound as hollow as a ping-pong ball. Over the past few days, it’s been amazing how many ways I’ve found to not work on the poem. The deadline is October 1st, it’s creeping up so quickly and the apathy I’ve developed towards working on it has been astonishing. I want to put my writing out there. I want as many people as possible to see my work but I’m questioning my own work like it’s out to get me. I also know that a big part of being a writer is being able to handle rejection. Rationally I know how most of what I submit won’t be accepted. But it’s always that self-doubt isn’t it? That lingering fear of what I put forth won’t be good enough. The countdown continues and the poem remains unfinished. I’ll keep you posted on what happens.
So, what’s your tale, Nightingales? Today I want to discuss the other side of the coin. As much as I find myself loathing the spoken word, that is how much I love the written word. The scope of its power and ability to move us in unexpected ways. From a young age, I have always loved to read. At any given time, I am usually reading several books at the same time. Needless to say the invention of the Kindle has cleared a great deal of space on my bedside table. One thing my family says about my reading habits is that I don’t have one specific genre that interests me. I love fiction, history, science, biographies, nature, and pretty much everything else. I’m a lifelong learner so I crave new information about different subjects. I love getting lost in a good story with characters whose fictitious lives become as real to me as my own. I still remember reading “Little Women” for the first time and weeping when Beth died. A good story shifts a reader’s world and makes them feel unbalanced about their place in it. That is what I want my writing to do, move people, make them feel ways about things that are unexpected and make them question the world. Maybe that is why I put so much pressure on myself to create perfect writing. But that’s a catch-22 in and of itself. There is no such thing as a perfect story to the author. I’m sure Mark Twain would still find things to change in his books and they are deemed classics. Reading for me is a pleasure and a joy whereas writing I find to be a challenge that is addicting. Always chasing the perfect word or phrase to describe something. Or perfecting a segment of dialogue that advances the story in an unforeseen way. When my brain makes the right connections or a spark of inspiration takes my writing in a wholly new direction it is a high like no other. It is why I keep pushing myself forward in my creative endeavors to make people feel something and so I can feel that rush of inspiration. There is simply nothing better in the world like it. Well, maybe one thing…. Until tomorrow, I hope you are all having a creative day where ever you are. <3