I like to think that I can do things that I’m interested in, if I just concentrate, if I just work at it a little bit. I like to think that I’m good at most stuff — at least the stuff I care about.
I suppose everyone wants to think like that, don’t they? Like, are there that many people out there thinking that they’re actively making bad parenting choices? That they’re sub-par at their chosen career? That they’re not really all that great in bed, or at conversation, or at being a friend?
There’s a saying that’s been running around for ages about how “90% of everything is crap”, so for sure there must be people out there who think they’re doing okay, but actually they’re not really producing according to their own perceptions. Dunning-Kruger effect, I guess.
There’s no reason I should be immune to it either.
Anyway, I was writing a bit this morning before I even came here to write brain-words. I’m re-doing the prologue of Book. I like the idea I have for the changes I want to make, I’m just kind of unsure of my execution. I want to think I can do this. I like to think I can string sentences together and build up some decent imagery without descending into terrible flowery over-indulgence. But it’s actually kind of hard. And the more I read other people’s work – both the good and the bad – the more I fear I’m in the latter camp.
And, of course, why would I be elsewhere? It’s not like I’ve practiced the art of writing. I’ve just assumed that the potential that I showed as a teenager and then put no work whatsoever into would just magically transform with the passage of time into actual ability.
I’m still going to struggle through with this project all the same. I don’t really have any confidence in it being good, but much like my Christmas cake with slightly soft icing peaks, and drifting stars, it’s going to be mine. There are words out there about the journey and the process and all that sort of stuff. I don’t want to give up. It’s as simple as that. More than anything right now I want to finish some creative projects.
I guess I can’t help feeling like I can’t get excited about starts anymore, because the pattern is too plain that all I have in me are starts. If I finish even one thing, then every start will once again contain the potential of the finished item. And that will be exciting.
But it’s hard, I whine. I have to work out the bits that don’t quite fit, and go down false paths and then unweave them and re-do them. I have to go through the hideous process of looking over stuff I’ve already written or drawn or outlined and hate it more than I’ve ever hated an adversary in my life, and then often just accept it and do more because I can’t rip the foundations out until I’ve put something more in place or I’ll just have a handful of sawdust and dreams. Or something.
G. says “eating your own cold vomit”, and there is no more apt description.
So, mostly I’m coming here to remind myself that I’m just going to keep doing it, even when I hate it, even when the excitement fades — maybe especially when the excitement fades because that’s where the real work and progress lies. I think.
I think I’m also going to try a little bit less complaining about life and pregnancy. Although I forgive myself for complaining here, and consider it my personal vomitorium of negativity, I feel like maybe I’ve recently been writing myself into more of a negative headspace than I even need to be in. So, I won’t be relentlessly positive when I’m not feeling it, but unless the woes and fears are particularly overwhelming, I think I’ll just leave them out.
For a couple of days anyway.
I think I run out of words and thoughts sometimes and so I turn my attention to physical feelings, and there’s always something aggravating that I can list out and complain about for a few hundred words or so.
But I don’t think it’s doing anyone all that much good, so I’m going to try to stop it.
Let’s see how far I get. Maybe I can be a better person before the New Year hits.