As I am wont to do, I allowed my negativity to disillusion me to the idea and process of being a writer. I’ve made it no secret that I’ve struggled with book sales and advertising. I’ve tried several different methods, all while trying to maintain an insane pace. However, I have this tendency to get discouraged (depressed) when I cannot see the results of my laboring. Oh, I am sure that there are fruits, even if they have yet to bud, but I am, sometimes, a victim of my own optimism. I realize I have directly contradicted myself in talking about being depressed and negative, then turning around and espousing my optimistic attitude.
Oh, I am sure that there are fruits, even if they have yet to bud, but I am, sometimes, a victim of my own optimism.
See, that is the conundrum that is me. I have bouts of excited idea development and joy at the conquest of writing a good story, but I also wear my heart on my sleeve. I begin to envision what is going to happen and how great it is going to be, but when that image is shattered by the cruel mistress of reality … Let’s just say I lose my optimism and delve deep in the opposite direction. So where does that leave me? Well, first it leaves me questioning the anecdotes of my youth.
You can be anything you want to be.
You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Winners never quit, and quitters never win.
These are great anecdotes, but they can fall short and hollow if they’re not tempered with realistic expectations. I am a victim of the millennial generation’s eternal optimism and verve, but I am also a victim of Generation X’s disillusioned outlook. I was born in the ’80s and I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. I know technology better than the back of my hand, but I also understand people (individual persons rather than people as a whole). I am an artist, but I understand the value of hard-work and a steady income. I am a dreamer, but I am rooted.
I am a victim of the millennial generation’s eternal optimism and verve, but I am also a victim of Generation X’s disillusioned outlook.
This presents for me a place of pained speculation. What If? Has always been my favorite thought. It leads to so many possibilities. However, when that What If? is applied to my lack of results for my efforts, I am led to questioning why I put in the effort in the first place. Take this blog for instance, I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings. It is shared through Facebook, Twitter, and through WordPress in general. I have many followers, and I am proud of that mind you, but I am looking for the results, I am always looking for validation. That’s the problem.
However, when that What If? is applied to my lack of results for my efforts, I am led to questioning why I put in the effort in the first place.
See Validation does not come from comments on a blog, Facebook likes, book sales, or book reviews. Validation has to come from somewhere though. Is it in knowing that I have given my all and given forth my best effort? For some it is. Does it come from others’ voices telling me I have done well? For some, maybe. If it doesn’t come from these sources, how then can I get the validation I need to continue putting myself out there? Book sales should help right? No, they don’t, because it isn’t about money. It is about telling a story. So the validation can only come from myself, because the encourage from others is encouragement, but they cannot tell my heart and my mind what to believe.
It is about telling a story.
For me, I need to validate my own adventure by giving myself permission to fail. Fail in book sales, fail in reviews, fail in feedback, and in general fail. If I do not, I have learned nothing. It is my experiences that shape my perceptions. However, I have been letting my perceptions cloud my judgment. I think it is time that I returned to enjoying telling stories and stopped worrying about being validated that I am a worthy author. I have accepted that I will always be a writer, but it is up to me what kind of perception I generate of myself. No one else can give me that piece of mind, so I must instead seize it and hold onto it dearly. Gaudium occupare scribendi, seize the joy of writing. Until next time folks.
Gaudium occupare scribendi, seize the joy of writing.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Author,