Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Roller coasting

I wrote for an hour yesterday and it felt great! I didn't have that nervous, self-doubting phase to overcome. I just jumped right in and got to it.

I wish it could always be like that.

Today I struggled the whole time and never was able to shut-up that nasty critical inner voice. I never got into a rhythm, and had to force myself to keep at it.

I worry that I've put too much pressure on myself, setting this 6-month goal. After all, there's no real reason why it has to be done in 6 months. I guess I'm just afraid that if I don't give myself a concrete deadline, I'll never finish. I've noticed that the closer I get to the finish line, the slower my day-to-day progress. Almost like I'm scared to finish.

Actually, I know I am scared to finish. Once it's done then I have to put it out there, and it might not be any good.


I try to tell myself that it doesn't have to be "good". If I get it to a point where I like it, it doesn't matter what other people think. It doesn't matter if it never gets published. But in the back of my mind I really want to succeed with this. I want to be published. I want my "job" to be Novelist.

It is terrifying going after your dreams, because if you try and then fail, then you have to give up on them. But of course dreams have no chance of coming true if you don't try. I am trying. It's just scary.

I'm going to write some more tonight. Maybe it'll go better. I've experienced this writing roller coaster before. You're up then you're down, and there's no way to predict those highs and lows ahead of time. You just have to hold on tight and ride them out.


PartTimeMom said...

I face the same thoughts - often.

A few months back I had a audition with a local band. I was so excited at first. And then I started thinking, and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to not show up.

But this other voice kept saying ... "but why not! this is your dream!"

Then I realized - the reason I didn't want to do it was BECAUSE it was my dream. One I've had for a long as I could stand in front of people and sing into my hand and pretend it was a microphone. If I tried out and I failed then the dream would be dead, wouldn't it? I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I didn't have 'it'. That those little minutes in the day when I was singing with the radio and I would slip away and pretend it was ME singing and not someone else would be gone.

I went anyway. It was scary but oh SO MUCH FUN!

I didn't get the gig - but you know what? the dream isn't dead. And it was an experiance that I'll cherish (and relive in my dreams)for a long long time.

wyo said...

It IS terrifying going after your dreams, because you want them so badly, and you don't want to fail.

But the only way to truly fail is not to try. You may take longer to succeed than you think, you may have to try more often than you hoped, you may find that your dream changes as you learn more while pursuing it ... but as long as you are trying, you ARE succeeding.

The point of the journey is not to arrive; it's just to GO on the journey. :)

Renée said...

Thanks so much parttimemom and wyo for your wise words. You are both completely right!

In fact you've inspired my next blog entry!

Janet Benson said...

Renee, I read a book by Brian Tracy called Goals! and he pointed out that goals change over time and if you don't meet the goal the first time, that doesn't mean you've failed, you can just re-set the goal and try again. We're all so "goal-oriented" and we think it's a finite do-it-or-die thing, but it's okay to see it as a process. I don't know if I'm conveying that well, but it was really empowering for me (at least when I read it!). -Janet

Renée said...

Janet- just recommended Goals to me too! I'll have to check it out. Thanks so much!