Thursday, September 22, 2011

Perseverance Pays

I watched the premier of X FACTOR last night.  I can't help it; I'm a sucker for shows where regular people get the opportunity to change their life forever.  I also believe writers are artists.  We're different from performers, but we face similar struggles and heartache while chasing our big break.

When the word no is shouted in your face time and time again, it's easy to lose faith.  Lack of confidence is the easiest ways to derail the train chasing our goals.  If we don't believe we will reach our destination, why not bail at the next stop?

My brain focuses on a lot of negatives; specifically, the slow pace I've maintained during the editing process.  I over-analyze everything, keeping myself from moving forward until I rectify my dilemmas.  I drill the same sections until I'm satisfied, only to change my mind a few days later.  I can't let things go.  I have a hard time believing my edits improve the story.  And no matter how hard I try, I can't believe anyone would want to read a book I wrote.

Negativity is toxic.   But despite the damage it causes, I allow it to infiltrate my blood.  It's become an addiction.  In Tweak, Nic Sheff discusses that, as an addict, his body knew when he injected an impure substance.  It got pissed; when someone orders fillet, you can't serve flank.

In a twisted way, I respond this way to positive energy.  It doesn't feed the craving; it doesn't provide what I'm used to.  When your told no your entire life, you believe it.  When you never make the cut, it's tough to keep trying.  When you always fail, success is inconceivable.  You tell yourself you don't have what it takes; that dreams come true for other people, and you are not one of them.

Stacy Francis knows the destruction of self-doubt.  For over a decade, she believed she was too old to pursue her dream.  But when this 42 year-old single mom took the Los Angeles spotlight, 4,300 people rooted her on.

Inspiration surrounds us like the oxygen we breathe.  We can't touch it, but we feel its effects.  Stacy's journey boosted my drive.  Uncertainty is part of life; we will never know ahead of time if a risk will pay off, nor will we know when our moment will come.  For Stacy, it took 42 years.  Some have a shorter journey; others take even longer.  But each day builds the person we are at the end.  Each day holds the opportunity for our craft to be improved.  We can use this time to learn, grow, and push ourselves forward.  Or, we can concede to negativity and let our dreams evaporate.  The choice is ours.

Never giving up will not guarantee our moment.  But giving up guarantees that moment never comes.

6 comments:

  1. You're right - we'll never win if we give up.

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  2. "Never giving up will not guarantee our moment. But giving up guarantees that moment never comes."

    I couldn't have said it better!

    Editing is the evil aspect of writing. Somewhat dulling our creative vomit to a strain of clear mucus (yes, it's that disgustingly visual).

    Not unlike a flu or bad taste in our mouth, eventually we get over it and find the sweetness at the bottom of the pie. You're talented and I'm rooting for you. (Hugs)Indigo

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  3. That video isn't working for me, but I saw the show last night with my family and I know the woman you're talking about.

    What really pissed me off was when she was asked about her life, and she described her partners discouraging her when it came to pursuing any kind of music career. What kind of man would do that to a woman? I mean she clearly has the talent, but even if she didn't why would you not try to be supportive?

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  4. I'm an over-analyzer, self-doubter, etc... but one thing that always helps me is the support I've had from those closest to me. We have enough naysayers in our own heads without external negativity.

    That being said, some need a healthy dose of reality, and sometimes they can only get that from outsiders.

    Not sure if I'd rather be a talented cynic or a hack optimist...

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  5. Paul, everything you feel as a writer, every doubt, every negative thought, I've been there. I still have those days, and I'm sure I always will. It really just comes down to one small decision...am I doing this or not? My answer is always, I'm doing this. I hope you continue to say that. And if you ever need a reader, I'm here.

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  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm sorry I did not acknowledge them sooner, but my annual fall cold had me out of commission. But I appreciate your readership, as I hope you all know by now. Thanks again.

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