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 blog...really...it'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." And...yeah...you 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?)