Superstition and Doubt Don’t Help the Writer Out

It’s amazing the things we believe, the stories we tell ourselves to justify our own shortcomings. As a writer (and I am being generous here) I hold this deeply held belief that where I sit to pound out some prose, dictates the quality of my writing. In the end it’s my own ability that gets me through what I’m writing. However if I have this perceived belief that it sucks or it didn’t come as easy it was all because I was sitting in the wrong place, or listening to the wrong music, or I didn’t have the correct amount of silence… It’s all nonsense. They’re just the mental gymnastics of my insecurity.

I’m sitting now in the very room and position where I previously typed countless on-line blogs and where I composed and compiled a “book” in my high school days. In this spot was where I had drafted some of my most memorable work. Even as I type this now, I know that this sentiment is bullshit. Since then I have written many other pieces that (in the moment) I had loved or perceived as brilliant, only to later deem it garbage at a later reading. And I also can’t help but notice, as I type this, that the words do also seem to flow a little more easily than previous. Coincidence, I’m sure.

My passion for writing has been rekindled this Christmas by two very “writer specific” gifts. My mother in law gave me a blank check to copyright my near-finished novel and my husband gave me a typewriter that’s almost 100 years old, and still works. Well, it mostly works in that I can punch the keys and produce letters on a page, as long as they don’t contain a 1 or a “space” in between the words I choose to stitch together. Granted, the husband bought it as a decorative piece and not as a functional one. Either way, I love the gifts I received.

An ember of “wanting to be published” has been growing ever since my husband’s diagnosis. For whatever reason, I want to produce something he can see and hold. And despite the story being about someone else entirely, I want to dedicate it to him. Even though he has been, simultaneously, my biggest supporter and my second loudest naysayer. I don’t think he ever doubted my ability to write, it was just my dedication to following through with my own goal. I like to pretend he was using this negativity to drive myself to “prove him wrong” and actually produce my novel. He just didn’t realize how insecure I am about my “talent” and how quickly I acquiesce to my self-doubt.

As these embers have started to catch, I wanted to see if it even mattered that I took my old spot in my mother’s living room, my back to the front door, clacking away on the keyboard. Does my talent or ability to write hinge on where I place myself, or is it all in my head.

If you were waiting for some sort of answer, you will find none. Because, as I have learned time and time again, it is all relative. It all depends on what I tell myself, and choose to believe, in that moment.

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