Like most people, I question myself. I question if my bachelor’s degree was really worth the debt I acquired, I question if I actually need my master’s degree and, more recently, I question if I should toss my writing dreams aside and just become a cog in the corporate machine.
Honestly, the thought of giving up makes the world around me fade a bit. When I picture working in a cubicle, sitting at a desk with my computer background image as the cat swinging on a branch saying “Hang in there,” it’s like I’ve stepped into a black & white cartoon. All the color’s gone out of life and everything, eventually, becomes a dull gray.
Then, the anxiety kicks in and my mind travels several years into the future where I’m either homeless or a complete failure in terms of my writing. Friends have gone on with their careers to be successful. They’ve built families, been promoted and don’t have to take deep breaths every time a bill comes in the mail. And I’m just there, an aspiring writer, still holding on to a dream that has turned its back to me, proving that writing wasn’t my path and I wasted my life…
Dark, right? Welcome to my world. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who’s had these feelings. I’m also sure I won’t be the last writer to have them either. As horrible as it may sound, I think self-doubt and anxiety come with our territory, guys.
Now, looking at my last post, you may think what could have happened in those two weeks to today to make me go all gloom and glum on you. Well, there are several things but one BIG thing: All the little blocks I had in place two weeks ago…well not all of them are in place now. Actually, many of them are more like rubble than blocks at the moment.
To be honest, I think the only things that’s kept me from tossing my computer and all its content out the window are friends and travel.
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been traveling in Germany for the past few weeks. My friends have been housing me at their apartment basically free of charge, so, I’ve been able to keep my expenses low. What I haven’t been able to tamper down is how wonderful it feels to travel again.
Traveling invigorates the soul, it gives me a new outlook, it makes me remember there’s always another adventure around the corner. I just have to be willing to look for it.
Not to mention that writing is essentially an adventure, right?
Benjamin Franklin said it first: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
So, I’m writing and doing. On this blog, I’m writing about my publication journey and all the fears of working as a full-time writer. And I’m also doing. I’m traveling. I’m trying to learn another language. I’m putting myself out there and working as an independent journalist. I’m opening myself up to new people and waiting to see if they become part of my net or if they fade out of my life. Whatever happens, I know I’m both writing and I’m doing.
And you should be, too. If you’re in a rut or some sort of downward spiral, go write, go do! The idea of we writers always being locked up in our room with a gray cloud over us, banging away at a type writer is ridiculous. We’re brave, we’re adventurers and we’re on a journey that so few are strong enough to take up.
So, let me know where you’re at in your writing. What stumbling blocks have you encountered and how did you overcome them?
What writing or doing did you do today? There are no wrong answers. Just know you’re not in this alone.