Friday, August 28, 2015

"Tut-tut, It Looks Like Rain"

I'm ashamed to admit it...this being a sunshiny place and all...but rain does seem to be the typical forecast for my emotions these days.  And when one is feeling especially cloudy, it's hard to keep those raindrops from trickling over into ones writing.  At least for me.  I'm a very honest person, and especially so when I'm writing rather than talking (I open up a lot quicker on paper), and so I feel that I may have been giving the impression in my comments--on my own blog and other people's blogs--that I am somewhat emotional and prone to feelings of discouragement.  If you happened to notice this about me, please let go of all assumptions...because, there's no assumption about it.  You were totally correct.  I am currently an unpredictable, emotional, nut-case.  Haha!  (My family doesn't know what to do with me sometimes!) 

And, so you might be wondering, what is the reason for these varying emotions?

Well, there are many factors to be considered, I'm sure.  It's hard to delve into the inner-most workings of ones self and discover exactly what is making one feel out of sorts.  But I can tell you for sure that yesterday it was all owing to...

...that infamous art of writing.

(So I'll just focus in on that factor for today and leave the other ones in obscurity.)

I find that writing is the cause of a bad mood for me more often than I'd like to admit.  (It's terrible, I know.  I shouldn't let it affect me so.)  But it's true.  When I'm happy with my writing, I'm on cloud nine!  (That's not a storm cloud, by the way.  That's one of those fluffy-joyful-fat-little-white clouds.  That's a good cloud.)  At these times I'm enthusiastic and happy and full of hopeful thoughts about the future. 

But when my writing is not going so well...when I sit down and stare at the computer screen and find nothing but blank thoughts in my head...when I'm stewing over the perfect words for hours and end up with nothing to show for it...when I finish a writing project and then hide my head in the sand until people are finished reading it because I'm sure they're not going to like it... 

That's when my writing begins to dictate my mood and I fall into a slump of discouragement.  (Don't pity me.  I do enough of that already.)

Yesterday found me in a "what's-the-point-of-anything?" mood.  My writing projects were at a stalemate, and this frustrated me and lead me into a downward spiral.  I began by thinking that doing a blog was really quite pointless--and that my other writing project, which is a family newspaper, was not worth doing either--that nobody could truly care what I had to write about--and that if they didn't care what I had to write about then they probably didn't care what I had to say in general.  And, naturally, if people don't care about what you have to say then they really can't care too much about you personally...and so I was a friendless, lonely, unhappy person!  (That's how my little mind works.  Real logical, isn't it?)

(Yep, that was me.)

I begin to see that I'm an incurable pessimist when it comes to my writing.  It doesn't matter how many times people tell me that I'm a good writer (and believe it or not, people have told me that) I still come right around the next day fully convinced that I'm horrible at it.  Even when I finish a writing project to my own satisfaction, it's not good enough, because then I worry over whether or not other people will like it, and whether or not they will understand what I was trying to say...and blah, blah, blah.  I'm scared to have people read my writing because, frankly, it embarrasses me.   (Which is why it makes no sense at all for me to have my own's quite ridiculous.)

And then I begin the comparison thing.  "There are so many other good writers.  I can never write as well as them.  Nobody would ever enjoy my writing like they enjoy so-and-so's." get the sad, depressing picture.  "Oh, I'm just a little black rain cloud..."   Anyway, I was thinking about the comparison thing today and I remembered a scene from Chariot's of Fire where Harold Abrahams says to his girlfriend, Sybil Gordon, "If I can't win, I won't run."  Sometimes I feel like that.  "If I can't write so well that everybody in the whole world loves my writing...then I just won't write at all." 

Silly person, I say.  You don't really want to stop writing.  What you need to do is stop thinking about yourself.  Write for the joy of writing, not for the sake of recieving praise or commendation from others.  Write for the hope of putting something good...something healthy...out into this dark and needy world.  Write for the purpose of bringing a little sunshine into somebody's life, even if it is just ONE person.  Because somewhere out there, there's a place for your writing.  God didn't give you words for nothing.

And, anyway, what did Sybil Gordon say in response to Harold Abrahams complaint?  "You can't win, if you don't run."  Ouch.

Feeling sorry for yourself never accomplishes anything.  (Self, are you listening to me?)

And really, when all's said and done, it's not so much what you've written as how you've written it.  If you've written with joy and enthusiasm and hope...if you've written to bring glory to your Creator and not to yourself...if you've written to encourage, to uplift, to turn people's focus in the right direction, then no matter how well it was worded, no matter how many people read it and enjoyed it, it was still worth writing.  Every word of it.

You know, I think the rain is lifting a bit--at least for the time being.  Thank you all for so patiently wading through the puddles. 

And I assure if I ever have reason to indulge in one of these rainy-day posts again, I'll be sure to let you know, forthwith.

"Hey everybody!  There's a party over Miss March's blog!"

"It's called a Pity Party."

"Oh, I always have so much fun at those kinds of parties."

(And just for the record, I don't feel down all the time.  Truly.  In fact, I'm feeling just fine right now...until I click that publish button...  Oh dear.  Why do I even try?)


  1. I CAN SO RELATE. Seriously. :-)

    My mood *so* often depends on whether my writing is going good or not. (I actually never saw you as a pessimistic person, so don't worry, it really doesn't show. :-D)

    I have always loves Sybil Gordon's reply. 'If you don't run, you can't win!' We must try! :-)

    Aaaand the Mary Poppins pictures are so cute.

    Thank you for this great post! :-D

    ~ Naomi

    1. Oh, it's so good to know I'm not alone! :) And thank you ever so much for setting my mind at ease about my pessimistic attitude. I was really hoping it wasn't showing too much because I truly do not want to be the kind of person who's always dragging other people down, and constantly wailing over "poor me, poor me."

      Oh, I know. That is such a good quote. Puts things in perspective.

      Aren't they, though? I think Jane and Michael have got to be two of the cutest child actors ever! ;)

      Thank YOU for your comment! For all your comments! They've been so encouraging!

      ~Miss March

  2. Wonderful, Miss March!

    First of all, I just want to say, I love your blog. And I mean that completely honestly. Whenever I see a new post of yours pop up on my dashboard, I really, truly do get excited. I love the way you write and your choice of pictures. So don't make the mistake of thinking that no one cares about or enjoys your blog, because trust me, THEY DO. :)

    BUT I can definitely understand where you're coming from. It is easy to throw ourselves pity parties, isn't it? But like you said, if you write with the right goal, "it was worth writing." That really stood out to me because I struggle with this sometimes, too. I don't write fiction very often, but if I'm writing other things, I sometimes get discouraged and think it's not worth it. So thank you for the words of encouragement!

    Can't wait for your next post:D

    1. Aww! Thank you so much, Olivia! It's so amazingly wonderful to think that you truly get excited about reading my posts! I can hardly believe it! (I have to warn you, though, you're giving me lots of encouragement to keep going...just sayin'.) ;)

      You understand!!!! *happy dance* It's so wonderful to know that other people understand where you're coming from! And, oh my yes! Pity parties! They're the easiest parties in the world! :) Oh, DID this post encourage you? I'm so glad! You girls have encouraged me so much since I started blogging that I really want to be able to do the same for all of you. (Isn't it so much fun to be surrounded by so many other writers?)

      Aww! Thank you ever so much!

      ~Miss March

  3. Oh, Miss March!
    Don't feel that you're the only one who gets down! I certainly can relate to feelings of discouragement. Ugh, especially when it comes to writing! I love writing and sometimes I feel grand about it but most of the time it just doesn't seem quite "right" to me and I wonder if I'll ever like my writing as much as I like other people's!
    Oh!! Please don't shut down your blog! I'm certainly enjoying it and I know others are, too! It's especially hard at first. I went a long time without my first follower! But you just have to keep going if you want to succeed.

    I love that movie! And yes, as ouch-y and depressing as Sybil's answer probably was to Harold, she was totally right. How can we ever do anything if we don't at least try? And try hard!

    For instance (this is slightly off topic but it still kind of applies) I'm playing the piano at church tomorrow. I've wanted to do this for sooo long and am trying very hard not to get nervous. I've put off trying for so long and now that I've committed I'm making myself do this. I play the songs quite adequately (especially for my first time!) but I'm scared that I'll get nervous and mess up (my hands were shaking so much at my last piano recital-I don't want that to happen again!). But I'm going to do it. I'm so excited--I know it's good for me to do something out of my comfort zone. We'll see how I do tomorrow! :D

    Anyways, I just thought I'd share that to encourage you. :) Everything you said was exactly right-if your writing is even making just ONE person happy (me!) and if it's glorifying God than that's all you need to worry about. You're doing great. :)

    Haha your pictures were so cute! I love how you use them to illustrate your post!

    1. Oh, I don't know what to say! Three super encouraging comments in one day! :) How can I possibly write how thankful I am for all the kindness and thoughtfulness you girls have shown me?

      Natalie, it means SO much to me to know that you're enjoying my blog! It's true, it's true--and I need to keep reminding myself--even if just ONE person, just ONE person, enjoys what I write then it's worth it! Totally. (And, obviously, I have more than one person who enjoys reading what I write, so, really! What do I have to complain of? Nothing! *sheepish grin*)

      Oh, I know! My writing is never quite "right" either. It amazes me how people can write a complete novel, because I feel like with my writing the editing is endless. I can always make it better. It's so frustrating... :)

      You're playing the piano at church tomorrow? That's wonderful! Oh, and I know. Of course it's nerve wracking. I would be totally nervous, too. I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job, though! Please let me know how it goes. :)

      Aww! I'm so glad you like the way I use pictures in my posts...because that's a part of blogging that I really enjoy! :)

      ~Miss March

    2. Awww, I'm so glad. :) I certainly wouldn't want to see you give up on your blog! I truly have been enjoying it.

      Ah yes...editing IS endless. I'd have probably given up on my book long ago if I tried to make it perfect right from the start....and trust me, it is anything but perfect right now!

      Yes!! It went quite well, actually! I wasn't really nervous-until I started playing! My hands started to shake slightly but I made it through the song. And the two after that. :) I think it was just the adrenaline from "oh no! I've started! I can't stop now!" haha But I really enjoyed it and can't wait for next time. :)

    3. Aww, thank you. That is so good to hear. It really does give me incentive to keep going. :)

      Yeah. I probably shouldn't aim for perfection all the time. It's just terribly hard for me to publish something unless I'm absolutely satisfied with it.

      Oh! I'm so glad you didn't give up on your blog, because I think it's lovely and I'm having a wonderful time getting to know you! :) I guess no blog will ever be perfect. (What's perfection, anyway?) But just being yourself and writing the way you can write makes it an excellent blog...because nobody else can write just like you. :)

      I'm so glad the piano playing went well for you, and that you enjoyed it! Haha! Yeah, we can be very grateful for that adrenaline rush, can't we? Next time will probably be a lot easier. By the way, are you going to be playing on a regular basis?

      Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

    4. Miss March,
      I'm sorry I didn't reply to this comment! It kind of got lost in my inbox.
      Even though I just sent an email to you, I thought I'd comment real quick. :)

      Aww, thank you so much. I was actually talking of my book in that paragraph but I'm SO glad you like my blog! I love getting to know you, too, and it is such a rewarding thing when people say they like MY blog and what I write about! :D

      Yes! I am going to play on a regular basis. Once a month is the plan right now. I'll be rotating with some other piano players at church. :)

      Have a lovely Sunday evening!

    5. You were talking about your book? Oh my goodness! (Haha!) I don't know what was up with my little brain that day! I totally read the word "book" and interpreted it as "blog." Odd that. ;)

      So, now that I've read your former comment correctly (haha)...let me just say that, that's a very good point. You can't try to make your book perfect from the start or you most likely WILL give up on it. That's probably the reason why I've never made it very far on any of my stories because I haven't yet learned how to leave the editing until the story is written. :/

      Oh, I know! It's so encouraging to hear that someone enjoys what you write. I'm so glad I discovered your blog! Really. And someday I would like to read your book, too...when you're finished with it. :)

      You'll be playing in church once a month? That's great! Good for you! Someday perhaps I will be as brave as you and play music in church! (Haha! That'll be the day!) ;)

    6. Haha, that's okay. It happens to all of us. ;)

      Yes! My problem with stories was I always got bored with it before I could finish. Even if my book isn't the best (which I know it isn't!) I'm so happy to have a book I've come this far with-when I finish it I'll be even happier! :D

      Awww, that is so sweet! I'm so glad I discovered your blog, too!
      And I would LOVE to have you read my book! You can be a beta-reader (reading it and giving me advice on it) if I decide to publish it. Even if I don't, I'm sure I can get it to you so you can read it. :)

      Haha, well, trust me, it's taken me quite awhile to get up the courage! But I haven't regretted it. :) It's so fun!

  4. Aww I love your posts so so much! *hugs*