Sometimes I find that reality can crash into me with a resounding wallop. I reel under the blow and start to question myself and my motives. Technically the business is only just over a year old. And most of the time I am breaking even. But every now and then I find that I flounder and feel myself fall.
I don’t fall far and most of the time is is just my fears…
Will I make enough to cover the bills this month?
What happens if I go bankrupt?
What happens if I run out of ideas?
What happens if I take too long writing a book?
That last one I think is more of a dyslexic fear. I write everyday but I am not fast… It takes time and I worry that readers won’t wait for the next. It’s a silly fear, but it is there. I also worry that my next book won’t be as good as the last…
So today I have been reeling from a hit of reality. And it is more damaging than a black eye.
I don’t write and or do any art.
I just worry.
Today I recognised the symptoms and put my apron on. (Yes, I have an apron and yes it has flowers on it). I got the flour out and I started to bake. I now have a cake tin full of fruit cake and a bread box full of cottage loaf. But I find I am still worrying.
In fact I was able to worry myself into a migraine. (I am medicated at the moment but pain free, which is a plus.)
So how do I stop these creative crippling reality wallops?
Well, I think I ought to stop thinking of them as reality. My worries aren’t reality. I’m not in trouble yet. True, maybe in the future I might, but right now I am fine. In fact, I have a commission on the table… So this month is fine. Why am I worrying?
It has just got to be doubts… I have them, everyone has them… But I can’t let them take hold. I have to rise above them and see the dream. My doubt appears to be about money, mostly, but it isn’t…
Everything hinges on the fact that I wonder if I am good enough. Truthfully, It is my own insecurity. And I don’t know what to do about it.
I have two novels and four (yes, four) children’s novels on the go. None are finished.
I have a massive self-destructive streak because I don’t think I am good enough. And before you ask, that steak is throughout my life, my art and my relationships. I fail because I believe I will.
Except this time I won’t.
This time I am going to push my worries aside and smile. I am going to live my life and write. And, I think, I will be fine. I’m not sure I can stop my self-doubts but I can limit them. Instead of sitting and staring at a wall and worrying, I can put aside my work and do something else. Today was baking… And it worked. I don’t feel depressed or too worried (I mean, it is still there but it isn’t screaming at the front of my brain). My self-doubt is a niggle in the background, and I can work with that.
The odd thing is that I don’t know anyone else who is creative and doesn’t get these doubts. I think it is part and parcel of being creative. The difference is whether you let them rule your life or whether you can push them aside.
I’m going to do my damnedest to push them aside and get on with finishing something!