|My six year old is proud of her writing. So innocent! So naive!|
My friend John is blogging now. He's been blogging every day. And each time I read his short quips, it makes me want to write in my blog. But then I have nothing focused to say and I don't really write "short" anything. I back my way into stories, books and blogs and it takes a bit of meandering before I find my way.
Perfectionism is hurting my ability to write. If I don't have something profound and tidy to say here, I don't say anything.
If I can't make each chapter of the memoir I wrote perfect, I don't edit. I have a completed memoir. A 300-page finished book that just needs me to make some minor tweaks and edits. But right now every time I open that giant file, I feel exhausted and weighed down by all of the ways it's not perfect.
I submitted a short short story to a number of literary journals recently. And I also submitted a longer nonfiction piece (one of the chapters from my memoir) to some as well. Overall, I submitted to about 30 journals. I've gotten about three or four rejections so far. One rejection wasn't "quite" a total rejection. They offered to publish my story if I changed the ending.
But I don't want to change the ending.
The ending is the one thing that's perfect.
Unlike everything else I'm not writing and not editing and not doing.
I had a point with all of this but I can't quite find it. Everything related to writing feels oppressive and heavy. Each rejection pulls me a bit deeper. I try to laugh it off, but it doesn't feel good. Maybe I'm not editing my manuscript because I fear rejection? If I never finish the edits, the memoir can never be rejected.
And if I never write in this blog, I'll never have to be rejected here either. No comments? No problem! No likes, who cares!
Why do we write anyway? Is it navel gazing and egocentric? Is it to connect to others? I suppose if it were the former, the lack of comments or likes wouldn't matter. If it's the latter, the inability to publish or to have a conversation about it, that would feel like failure. But still the ego's in there, I'm sure.
LIKE ME LIKE ME LIKE ME!
Is everything about a fear of rejection or failure? Is that why we fall off the wagon? Cheat on our diets? Don't exercise? Don't do our homework? Procrastinate at work? I feel like there's some wisdom at my fingertips, but it eludes me.
It's probably something quippy like, "What would you do if you couldn't fail?"
Maybe I'd write a self-help book. Maybe I'd go on the motivational speaker circuit. Or maybe I'd just sit here writing shitty blogs and collecting rejection letters like lost loves and missed opportunities.
Okay. Time to rethink that motivational speaker career.