December 10, 2009


As I said in last week's post, I have realized that I am actually afraid of finishing. I am afraid of the judgement that comes at the end, when I have to print copies of my manuscript and hand them out to people to cover in red ink.

My friend Joe Rooks suggested I read a book called THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield, which tackles overcoming self-doubt.  Self-doubt is everyone's enemy, but it is especially so for creative types because the work they do is inherently personal. At first I was skeptical because the review I read made the book out to be very New-Agey, and New-Agey I am not; however, Joe sent me a link to an entry on Mr. Pressfield's blog that really hit home AND convinced me to buy the book.

As soon as Dec. 26 rolls around, that is. I'm holding off because it's a strange year that I don't receive a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas. You know how with certain people you can always get them that 'fall back' gift if you can't think of anything else? You know, the aunt you can always buy frog stuff for (true story) or the friend who loves anything HALO-related (also a true story). Well, B&N gift cards are my 'fall back' gift!

Make sure to check out the whole post here, but this is the bit that really rang true to me:
What if my self-doubt is justified? What if the book really does stink? What if I’ve just put in two killer years for nothing?
Then I’ll take the long view. I’m not in this for the weekend. This is a lifetime calling.

I’ll take my lumps and learn my lessons. I’ll look to the next book and the one after that. Even Bob Dylan puts out a crappy album once in a while. Derek Jeter himself sometimes goes down swinging. I will too if I have to. But nothing will stop me from giving this book my all.

Wow, wow, WOW.

I've gotten a lot of flack over the last two years about quitting my job to write, to the point that I felt the need to apologize for my decision. Some people agreed to my face it was a good idea, then said how unwise (that's putting it nicely... one person's word was "lazy") I was behind my back. The above is what anyone who doubts me needs to understand. Yeah, I might fail - so what? I'm 24 and have a lifetime to "succeed." As long as I am happy and working hard toward the goal, I am succeeding.

I know some people simply CANNOT follow their dreams, but for anyone who can and does, it is a very brave thing to do. And for anyone who can and does not, they will probably regret it.

With that being said, I am proud of myself. I did a brave thing in becoming a writer. Some people may say it's crazy, but I say it's brave. And not only did I do it, but I was able to do it with the full blessing of my family. So thank you to them for supporting me!

Thanks for sending me the link, Joe!


Joseph Rooks said...

So glad Steven Pressfield's writing resonates with you. It's always tremendously encouraging for me, and full of helpful reminders.

I was listening to an interview with him yesterday where he said that his "Writing Wednesdays" column is an extension of what he wrote in The War of Art.

Daisy Whitney said...

You know what? Parts of it might stink. Parts of it might be bad. But you can chop them and change them. You can make them better. Finishing a novel is thrilling and daunting and scary all at once. And you will cringe at parts you wrote. I have cringed at my own words many many times. But then you get out your scalpel and you stitch and cut and make it better! Good luck!

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