When all else fails….
I’m sitting on my bed. Well, more like lying on my bed. Well, more like reclining. Sort of a half sit, half lie. Anyway, I’m relaxing, that’s the point. Have been since about 7.30. I’ve been flicking from iplayer to 4OD to wikipedia to digitalspy to facebook, looking at this and that and racking my brains for something to be interested in, but nothing’s really sticking. I keep stealing glances across the room at my special laptop. I say special laptop because the screen’s a bit wobbly (it won’t shut,) and I only use it for writing. It sits on my desk now, no longer the portable old machine it once was. I remember the first night I got it I took it across to Stephs house, just cos I could. It was portable, why the hell not!! Now it sits, stationary. Which is sad, but fine, it serves a purpose – like I say, I only use it for writing and it makes a good writing laptop. But I keep looking at it because I know really I should haul myself off of this bed and sit at the desk and write something. Okay I’m writing now, fine, but this is procrastination writing. This really is. This is so I can go “dum di dum, this is nice, my fingers clacking away on the keyboard, look at me, writing my socks off” when really it’s just mindless drivel that’s spouting from my noggin and takes not even an iota of effort to put together.
The point is there are things I know I really should be doing and I know 100% that I will feel better for doing them. So here’s the question. Why aren’t I doing them? Why am I just sitting? Or reclining? Or whatever. If I know I’ll feel good and it’s for the best, why aren’t I doing it? I’m………I’m……….I’m………….unsure I can write anything? Panicky that I’ll sit down and think “oh crap I have no idea what to write.”? No, no that’s not true. Even if I did get stuck I could easily send off my gubbins to another agent or something (side bar: new favourite word. Gubbins.) So it’s not through fear of not being able to do anything that I’m not moving. So what else is it? Ah.Ahhhhhh. I think I know. I think that a part of me (one of those stupid illogical but really rather powerful parts of the brain,) is thinking that if I keep going with this and get really into it and get all excited and obsessed, and do loads of work and put in loads of effort that I’ll just be even more gutted when nothing happens. The plant grows but no fruit appears. That’s the fear. I could sit down now and write a chapter or two, or submit to an agent……………but then when nothing happens, or it comes back “NO,” then I’m further down a path that’s leading nowhere.
Of course that’s crazy talk. That’s just mad insecure talk, I know that. Completely illogical and stupid because logical and rational matthew knows that if you want something hard enough and long enough then unless it’s something impossible like invisibility or being able to fly, you’ll likely get it. If Joe Bloggs down the road has got it, then so can I. I know that. But like I said, it’s that illogical stupid part of the brain that actually manages to have quite a loud voice. It’s self-preservation at it’s heart, but ironically it works through self sabotage. Nothing ventured, nothing lost.
But I have to fight this. I have to. Everyone has to. I absolutely have to. It’s scary because it means literally throwing your hopes and dreams out on the line, completely exposed. There’s no half ins, half outs. You have to be 100% on board in terms of your faith and belief. Have to be. Otherwise a tiny part of you has already accepted that you’ve failed (for want of a better word.) And it could be just that tiny bit that could end up letting you down.
Good, good. Great advice Matthew. Now take it.