I’ve missed you! It’s been awhile, huh? So this week (read: month) has been… hard. I continue to struggle with balance and hope… or is it confidence?
The first, balance, is easy to describe. I feel like a tightrope walker on the high wire of publishing. I’m walking slowly (this is my first time on the wire!) with that large pole clenched in my white-knuckled fists.
I’m trying to remember to breathe, but it seems like one more thing in the already mounting tasks requiring my attention. Between writing, learning my craft, blogging, tweeting, reading (other blogs and books) and breathing, I feel like my balancing pole is off tilt and slipping through my clammy fingers. How does one work with all those moving parts? I read and study and try new things, but instead of feeling like I’m learning balance, I feel like I’ve added a unicycle and a parasol to my routine before learning to walk. Is there such a thing as entering social media too soon? Should I have waited to “build a platform” until I actually had a completed novel under my belt?
I’m slipping. I can feel my feet bleeding through my tightrope shoes. And I’m afraid to fall because I can’t look down and I don’t know if I’m working with a net or if I will end up splattered all over the circus floor (SIDE NOTE: I must give credit to Janice Hardy for the “splattered all over the ____” idea. I stole it from a tweet she sent me. Janice, I know you know this, but you are brilliant!). Anyway, I don’t want to be splattered.
Hope… or is it Confidence?
I am still a little vague on what I mean by the second half of my list. Am I really struggling with hope? Believing that sooner than later I’ll be able to mold this white hot mess I call my WIP into a desirable manuscript? Or is it confidence in my skill and ability to write a story that others will want to read. I don’t really know.
So what am I feeling? Overwhelmed maybe? Stuck? Inferior to others in my field who not only write amazing novels and stories but also blog, tweet, and network while also working full-time jobs and raising a family. Do I deserve success when they are capable of so much and I of so little? (Check out Kristen Lamb‘s post on Training to be a Career Author).
I think I need to revisit my post earlier this week on shame because the truth (I hope!) is I am doing the best I can within the parameters of my current circumstances (PTSD martini—shaken, not stirred). I work hard. I also have very bad days. And while I could stand to figure out a consistent schedule, I also need to accept that it won’t work 100% of the time. Heck, it may not even work 50% of the time. Perhaps the key is setting the expectation—a goal to shoot for (ie., workable, consistent schedule)—while also building in flexibility and the ability to forgive myself when it explodes in my face. Perhaps I should also have a medic on standby? I’m wicked clumsy and will probably end up with shrapnel in places I didn’t know existed.
So, Friday. Next week is a new week. Maybe I should dump the unicycle, tuck away the parasol for later (who knows, it may help slow my fall!), and make breathing a priority. It would also help to wear a little more hope AND confidence. Repeat after me: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”
Happy Friday, Friday. We’ll pull through this together! I promise. 🙂
Readers… Is there such a thing as “too soon” in regards to joining the writerly circles of social media or building your author platform? What suggestions would you offer for a writer stuck in a rut? How do you maintain hope and confidence in the face of rejection and disappointment?