I wasn’t even sure I was going to write a post today because I am so excited about the post I wrote yesterday regarding a collaborative story I want to write on this blog. But now I’ve reached the middle of the afternoon (UK time) and I find I have something to say.
I don’t know about any of you, but I am afraid of failing. The thing is, it is my fear of failure that keeps me from succeeding even when I have already begun to succeed. Two things in my life illustrate this very clearly: my weight, and my writing.
In relation to both of these; I want to lose weight and get back down to my happy 136lbs which I was for about eighteen months in Peru, and I want to be a successful author. Strangely, though, whenever I start to see measurable results from my endeavours in either of these arenas, I… stop trying? Actively sabotage my efforts? Give up?
It was a conversation I had just now on Twitter with Tymothy Longoria which made me think about this. He tweeted that we could all “be the next Rowling, King or er… Meyers, should we choose to be.” Of course he’s right. I know not everyone will believe it, but Rowling, King and Meyers existed as perfectly normal people before they became world-famous superstar writers. We all have somewhere to go.
I pointed out, after I stopped laughing at the …, that Meyers was loved by a huge number of readers, and since it’s about them, writers’ opinions of her books really don’t matter. At which point it occurred to me, she may not be the best writer in the world, but has that affected her success? Of course not. Rowling’s books aren’t models of grammatical perfection either, and I believe she is the world’s first billionaire author.
These thoughts inspired me to get back to my novel-in-progress and start editing, because, even though I started editing on Sunday, I have still only done two chapters. Why?
This happens to me a lot. The same with my weight. I make some progress and then it’s as though something inside me gets scared that I might be about to achieve my dream and turns round screaming ‘STOP!!! You can’t do that!!!’
Why not? I know I can weight 136lbs. I’ve done it before. I didn’t even do it by dieting, although I wouldn’t like to repeat the year of more or less constant illness by which it was achieved. For the record, I then maintained it for a year and a half by healthy eating and regular exercise. Not by getting ill again. Since I can’t work out at the moment, I have to rely on calorie control. Willpower is not my strong point.
The writing is a mystery, though. I have been running this blog for nearly two months and have well over four thousand hits, which I am very happy about. But my hits do strange things. They go up and up and up… and then slump. Then up and up and up… and then… You guessed it. It’s the same with my weight, but in reverse. The numbers go down and then leap back up. In the end, nothing changes. I know I can edit my manuscript but I’m avoiding it. I could probably write more short stories, since the ones I have written have been well received, but I’m not. Maybe I just need to believe in myself a bit more? Couldn’t we all do with a bit more faith in ourselves?
What about you? Do you have these kinds of problems? How do you get round them?