Several weeks ago I wrote about not being broken. And I really do believe that we, I, am not broken. In my head, I genuinely think this. In my heart, I struggle every day. I know that I am growing and learning about how to move beyond the trauma, but I am also still struggling with a sense of who I am and what I am capable of doing. As well as how do I allow myself to succeed.
I have long since let go of all the hate and anger that I have towards those that so heinously abused me. I have moved into a place of peace as far as they are concerned. That did not happen overnight. It took years to find that place. The thing I struggle with now is my sense of self-worth and fear of success. I have been limping through an MFA writing program. I am working on a novel. At first, the scope of the book was comprehensive as I tried to desperately tie all the aspects of my life into the story in anonymous ways. That did not work out so well. I was trying to share so much of my story in a fictionalized way that it became a vast “oversharing moment” disguised as literature. The second draft was fewer characters and stories and more on the thriller side of things. That also didn’t turn out as I wanted it to. I am now on the slimmer and more finely tuned version. Whether this one works or I just go back and fix version two is still up in the air.
Why am I telling you this? Because my greatest fear in life is to succeed, it is also my greatest desire. To that end I find myself comparing my work or my life to other people’s lives. I see where they produce what appears to be relatively flawless work. I don’t know how much time they spend on their work or how long it takes them. All I know is that I see what others are doing and feel lost in the struggle. I choose to let myself be overwhelmed by my own desire to succeed and stop working.
I am supposed to be writing a relatively short book to submit at the end of the month for consideration of publication. Do I have the story mapped out? Yes. Do I know what I am going to write? Mostly. Have I done any of it? Can I count the two pages I keep writing and deleting? In other words, I sit down at the computer. Look at the screen and see my failure before I have begun. The book I am writing is not meant for the NY Times bestseller list. It is also not intended for consideration of an award. It is a simple story of two people. A story that is meant to entertain and perhaps make someone smile. Because those are the books that saved my life. And that is what I want to give back.
I have the house to myself today, and I plan to write. With the dedication to overcome my ADD, I can accomplish this book. Send it off. And see how it goes. Whether that book makes it and is published is not really as important as the fact that I overcame the resistance and lethargy associated with my fear of succeeding. I have had other successes in life. But I did not give my all to make them happen. They were to me moderate success. Because I knew I held back. This time I need to give my all and accomplish this book. Writing is my dream and my love. It is time I lived my goal instead of always preparing to live my dream.
Do you let your fears keep you from your dreams or do you just step off that ledge and give it all you have? Let me know how you move past your fears.