Dragon slaying

I’m struggling again with writing, as you may have surmised from my absent blog posts this week. I’ve started second guessing my ideas: Who would want to read that? I’m worried about my tone: Sheesh! You sound like Pollyanna, always turning things into glib sunshine and rainbows. I lose my grasp on fleeting ideas: I just can’t think of anything interesting to write about. This old insecurities (explained in I am not a-mused) have flared up again.

I can’t let that happen.

So here I am, writing about the insecurities themselves. By giving them voice and then countering with the truth, I intend to put them to rest. I know I’ll likely have to do this many times and they may never be permanently defeated. Hopefully, though, each time will get easier and the process of cutting them down will become second nature.

It just takes practice, and to show I’m serious about slaying my dragons, I’m going to do it publicly.

  1. Who would want to read that? C’mon, T. You’ve said since Day One that you’re not writing for anyone else. Remember how you said that writing every day jumpstarted your creativity and helped you organize your thoughts? Yeah, you really said that. Why don’t you own it now? Write like you mean it.
  2. Sheesh! You sound like Pollyanna, always turning things into glib sunshine and rainbows. Life isn’t sunshine and rainbows, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to find the nuggets of wisdom in everyday situations. It doesn’t mean your life is perfect, T. Actually, you need to find those nuggets for yourself. (See item 1 in case you forgot your audience.) There are days when you feel like buckling under the weight of all that’s going on; it’s perfectly normal to look for ways to make sense of it. In fact, this exercise is vastly healthier than wallowing (at which you’re also quite accomplished).
  3. I just can’t think of anything interesting to write about. Jeez, T, you’ve always prided yourself on being able to make something out of nothing. How many times have you told people that’s what your blog posts reflect? After all, you just wrote a whole post on how you couldn’t write. Talk about turning nothing into something!

I doubt that I’ve slain the dragon of self-doubt, but hopefully I’ve beaten him back for a while so my body of work–my armaments–can grow.

So friends, here’s my formula for dealing with fear/self-doubt/whatever is holding you back: bring it into the light. Call it out; share it with someone else. Then present your counterarguments. If it helps, do it in third person. Pretend you’re counseling a friend or your daughter or someone important to you. Write them down, point by point, so you can SEE them. Then go do the thing that scares you. Your legs may be wobbly, but they’ll get stronger as you go. I promise.

Bundle of nerves

You would think that after running as many races as I have, I wouldn’t get nervous anymore. Not so. I find my heart fluttering days before each new race, and the thought that runs in a loop through my head is, What if I can’t do it?

I’m registered to run another race on Saturday, a 10K this time, and the jitters have already started. Aside from the normal nervous musings, there’s a new factor in the mix: I’ve never raced this distance before. Sure, I’ve done tons of 5Ks, a couple of four-milers, and two half marathons. I’ve at least covered the bookend distances, so this one should be no sweat (rhetorically speaking, of course!). Add to that the fact that I run this distance occasionally on my regular evening jaunts, so I know I can do it without a lot of extra effort. A walk in the park, right?

Somehow I still fret. All the way up to the starting line, the jitters will build. I’ll calm a bit on the course, but until I cross that finish line, I won’t be completely confident that I’ll get it done.

That’s probably not all bad. Those jitters keep me going, pushing me along just ahead of the fear of failure that nips at my heels. The resulting┬ásense of accomplishment I feel when I cross that finish line is that much sweeter.

Guess I’ll hang on to my bundle of nerves for a while longer. It might be worth something.