January 13, 2017

13012017

Today’s blog song is by The Revivalists and is called Keep Going, the choosing of which will be obvious once you’ve read this blog. Even beyond me having a gribe The Revivalists are exceptional musicians that I have only stumbled upon recently and you should definitely check them out.

I’ve been feeling the painful need to grow lately. It might just be the burgeoning firsts steps of a new year causing this but it’s probably also caused by a recent rejection.

Over the Christmas break I applied for a job in the industry I would prefer to be working in, one that would have been a massive foot in the door, if not also arm, leg, and torso. Unfortunately, due to a number of people sending me the link to this job and telling me to apply, I thought I was in with a pretty good chance. It turns out I was not and yesterday I got the “Unfortunately…” email telling me I wasn’t even getting an interview. It sucks and it made me feel shitty. What was worse though was that my ever helpful imagination had already gone ahead and shown me the future that was sure to unfold once I got this position and now with that swept away I feel in a rut.

I want to write and I want someone else to pay me to do so. I know I should be putting myself out there more if I really want to achieve this but am stuck on how to do so. Networking seems like the most obvious answer but is something I abhor due to the cringing fakeness of it all. However, I’m also aware this probably stems from my own fears and insecurities, and ultimately that’s how the game is played like it or not.

Still, to be more proactive in pushing for a writing career I need time; both to write and to seek out – or make – opportunities. That’s the next problem. Between my full time job, current writing, social life, extracurricular activities, exercise etc, it’s often hard to find time or energy to continuously pursue other options. An excuse, yes, but a reality as well.

What do I do? One answer would be to quit the full time job and really “give it a go.” Give myself the time and space to do everything and anything I can think of that will move me towards the mountain. I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty fucking tempting. Except for that pesky logical side of me that’s aware that doing so will cause me to have a not insignificant pay cut, and realistically I’m not as financially secure as I’d like to be to jump off the bridge like that. Which leaves me either playing it safe and continuing on the road I’m on or taking a risk that definitely has no certainty of paying off and could cause me to miss out on other things due to lack of funds etc.

Fear’s a real bitch. Clearly it’s what’s causing my current anxiety (and arguably all anxiety). I don’t often think of myself as a fearful person but that it’s there is undeniable. Fear of being stuck, fear of not achieving my dreams, fear that I’m not doing enough, fear of putting myself out there, fear of rejection, fear of missing out, fear of letting the people around me down, and fear of not growing. The fear is getting old and it’s exhausting.

Ultimately, I don’t really know what comes next. Probably something somewhere between the two extremes of my options. What I do know is that I’ll keep writing, keep educating myself, and keep a radar out for any opportunities that do come my way while trying to figure out how to find more – and probably keep being fearful because that shit is hard to turn off.

What I also need to remember is that growing takes time and usually happens at a rate that can’t be seen. Which means I probably am still growing, I just wish it would happen a little faster.

Talk soon

Damian

June 10, 2016

10:06:2016

I have a problem with writing. Mostly, with my feelings towards it. I’ve found I love writing, it’s a challenge, it’s creative, it allows me to turn intangible thoughts and ideas into a form that is not only tangible but shareable and understandable by others; that’s magic. My problem comes from a uncontrollable and frustrating fear associated with it. This fear doesn’t often come on at the start of a project, when an idea hits me and I’m all jazzed about getting it down; it comes later, after that early passion, when the real work starts.

Let me try and explain it. I’ll be a certain percentage into a project, let’s say twenty percent, and mostly I’ve happy with what I’ve written so far and I’m enjoying writing it, when something shifts, and all of a sudden when I think about writing more of the project or I’m sitting at my laptop and have yet to begin, there’s a weird fear in my chest. A pressure.

Annoyingly it’s because I am happy with what I’ve written so far that this pressure exists, because I know exactly what the cause of that pressure is, and it’s me. The fear is one of failure. The failure to write the story as well as I know I can, or believe myself to be able to. It’s a weird combination of arrogance and self doubt. On one hand I have this arrogant belief that I have the talent to write this amazing story, that at my best I’m capable of blowing audiences away with my words, on the other I don’t believe I can live up to and achieve this level of talent that I have put on myself! I’m sure psychologists probably have a term for it, ego fighting your super-ego, or something like that, all I know is it’s confusing.

The worst part about this fear is that sometimes it’s powerful enough to stop me from writing. I distract myself with other things, or start a new project (which is really just a different form of procrastination), or write one of these blogs (as clearly that pressure doesn’t extend to smashing my thoughts down into a post), or just do nothing; all the while a small voice at the back of my head is saying just get over it and finish the project. If I’m lucky I’ll listen to that little voice, who will also remind me, in a calm and friendly tone, that ‘Writing is meant to be fun, so just have fun. Nobody is expecting a masterpiece from you, or really anything from you, so why be afraid?’ Unfortunately there’s also that other voice that speaks with a mean and gravelly tone and says ‘Nobody else may be expecting anything from you, but I am, so be better!’

Clearly I don’t have an answer to this problem, or to those voices, that’s why I wanted to write it down here, and I expect the problem will continue indefinitely, as putting pressure on myself is part of who I am. I also think it’s part of the reason why I can achieve some of the things I do; there’s always pros and cons. I’ll just have to manage it. Coffee helps. I think I’ve created a pavlovian conditioning in myself where now even the smell of coffee puts me in the mind to write. Maybe I’ll just drink more coffee.

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To share something more positive than my self doubts I thought I’ll show you this great little video that popped up in my news feed the other day from Futurism about a very cool and, unsurprisingly, futuristic device that allows you to type on any surface, with just your hand, and have it work as a keyboard.

Isn’t the future cool?

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Two steps forward and one step back means you’re still moving forward.

Talk soon

Damian