As exemplified by my lack of posts, I’m facing a bit of trouble with “the follow through.” It’s a not-so-big secret that this particular issue has affected everything from my kindergarten after school programs to graduating college. I get really, really excited about an idea or thing and am convinced I need it in my life to live/breathe/be happy. I try it and usually find I’m actually decent at whatever it is (cause, come on, I’m only really super interested in things I imagine I’d be good at in the first place). Then, I either quickly loose interest, or worse – some almost real tangible progress or success happens and it no longer comes easily. Now it’s more about work than interest and fun, and what’s worse than that?
When I was younger I played the piano and harp for many years. As a teen I became obsessed with traveling and international volunteer work, which lead to my decision to major in anthropology and African studies. But, as I get older, my attention and passion for said particular thing wanes more and more quickly. What was the attention span of maybe 5 years has gone to 3 and to mere months at this point. Most recently, the “thing” has been writing, or thinking about writing, or really, not writing I guess.
Beating myself up aside, I would really like to further examine this thing that’s going on here. My silence in the blogosphere coincided with some should’ve-been optimistic news. After a long line of straight-up rejections, I got a taste of encouragement from none other than my reach literary contest. It was not publication or even their top 25 honorable mentions, but a notation that I was a finalist ending in the top 5% of all submissions. While it wasn’t really close wining the contest, for me it was an important step.
And then I stopped. without any reasons or excuses, which is also pretty typical. It’s not like I’m busy – for the first time since 15 I don’t have school or a job or both. In fact, I’m going housewife stir crazy these days (more on that later, maybe) so writing would actually help my current mental state. But, to use un-writerly cliches, the well is freaking dry these days.
One of the few consistent goals I’ve kept is to be published by 25, which is um hello right around the corner. I’m no Frued but that self-impossed pressure probably has has a lot to do with this latest dry spell. Publication in the next 3 months just ain’t gonna happen. And intellectually I know that is just perfectly fine. I wasn’t trying to finish a novel or anything, just a short short or essay in some small circulation lit mag would have been nice. I also intellectually understand that the greatest writers receive sometimes hundreds of rejections before anyone bites; so many getting a “nice job, keep trying” from Glimmer Train in my first set of submissions was kinda rad. Maybe not. Either way I have gotten into some ICantDoAnythingRight and NeverFinishAnythingIStart funk.
Since admittance is always the first step, maybe this time I will follow through.
Settings goals is only good if achieving is really in your control. In this case a better goal would be to write “x” amount of things- you can make sure you achieve this. Publishing is not in your control so don’t beat yourself up for that. Only beat yourself when you are lazy or not true to yourself. Love M