I am, at least in my own mind, very good at coming up with excuses for things. There are times in college when I couldn’t go to the bar because I had some big writing project due and I’d not started on it, which often involved a raid in World of Warcraft that required my attention. I’ve excused myself from social obligations with some groups of friends to make my way to other ones in similar ways.
Lately I’ve been making excuses for not writing. Work has me so tired, and I just can’t get my brain out of this fog. My days off are so full of errands and household chores, and I do want to relax a little. To properly appreciate those last couple sentences, imagine how hard I was kicking myself while I wrote them. They’re lousy excuses, and they make me feel lousy. Hell, even as I type this I’m trying to not say how being all tired and foggy after work is totally a legitimate excuse, and I shouldn’t feel as bad about it, which is and isn’t true in equal parts.
I bring these things up because, and I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, I have publishing envy as of late. Two of my good friends are published authors, and I know more people than that who have been published in the past. On its own, that feeling of envy is bad enough (only made worse by how annoyed I become with myself for feeling such jealousy). And then there’s my magnificent, well-known tendency to be my own worst critic. Yes. Just like every other person who creates. I’m aware. I look at my writing, then at the works of other writers (published or not). I get that feeling of never being quite as good with the written word, or a sense of how the stench of my overwhelming mediocrity could easily be used to fumigate a medium-sized house on a good day, and an opulent mansion on some of my worse ones.
The plan is to stop. Stop with the envy, and the days of fretting my writing being bad. Definitely the excuses (I mean, in regards to writing; no promises elsewhere). At the very least, I’m going to work on remedying these things. On a related note: I have what I think is a pretty cool idea for a scary story. It’s almost October, which means I need to get ready for my usual month-long celebration of all things Halloween (read as I will be eating so much candy corn and caramel apple lollipops that all dentists within a five mile radius of my house will feel a sense of overwhelming dread). What better way to get in the Halloween spirit than scary stories?
And other story and writing ideas have cropped up, too. In short: onwards to MS Word!
Stop all the self-criticizing and put all those beautiful words and descriptive adjectives into you stories!
“the stench of my overwhelming mediocrity could easily be used to fumigate a medium-sized house”
And you claim to be self-critical? I don’t see it.
But seriously folks, comparing yourself to someone who has achieved a goal or milestone that you have not is utter folly. It is the worst thing you can do to yourself that does not involve forks and eyeballs.