Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year Darlings! 2014 edition

Image courtesy of WeHeartit
So first...Happy 2014! Can you BELIEVE it's 2014? I seriously can't, especially since there are no flying cars or anything. #bummer

I haven't blogged in 5 months. Blah blah, super busy, blah blah, emotional knapsack, whatevs. I'm here now right? I have been so absentee from this blog because of so many reasons, most of which I won't bore you with, as that is totes not the point nor the goal of this blog but I wanted to take just a moment and share something with you.

A couple of years ago, I joined an online forum. That forum was filled with women vastly different from me but we all had a common thread among us, we loved books. Then, as NaNoWriMo approached, I found out something else, a lot of those wonderful readers I knew were writers too. Much like me, they harbored a dream of one day being a published author. All of us writer types banded together and formed our own subgroup where we talked about writing and compared ideas and it was seriously one of the best outlets I've ever had where I could talk about all of the people running around in my head and not feel embarrassed that I sometimes talked back to them.

Then as our little group evolved. Things slowly changed.

Someone got an agent and had a book on submission.

Then someone else got an agent AND sold her book.

Then another person got an agent.

Then another.

Then someone else got a book deal.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm super happy for the success of my writing friends!! I think it's incredibly awesome, especially since I have a bit of a behind the scenes look into books that are either on shelves now or very soon will be, but while this book dealing, going on submission-ing, and agenting has been going on, I've barely even finished my book. I have been too afraid to let anyone read it either. As I tried to contribute more to the writing world both in my immediate group and through all of the writing friends I've made on the Internet, I have felt kind of like a fraud. A big fat non writerly fraud.

You see, there's a voice in my head. A tinny, reed thin voice that manages to skate right through my subconscious and directly into my frontal lobe to tell me that I'm simply not good enough.

I don't cut the mustard. 

I'm not up to snuff. 

I can't hack it. 

I'm not a writer. 

I'm a groupie. A cheerleader. A wannabe. 

(The voice inside my head is a bit of a bitch, no?) 

Listening to this voice kind of killed my writing mojo this year. I figured the odds were small that I'd be one of "those girls" with her fancy publishing deals or love tweets to her agent, so what was really the point? I was afraid that if I did put myself out there I would find out that my writing really isn't as good as I might think and that I'm really just all those things the Regina George-like voice in my head says that I am.

So basically, I let fear rule my life, or at least the last half of my 2013. I let the idea of not being good enough to compete keep me from running the race. I sat on the sidelines and hated every second of it knowing that I was the solution to my own freaking problem, but I for some reason couldn't make myself do anything about it.

Yeah...that was kind of the worst.

Shortly before the end of the year, I decided to make a few changes. First change was to give the Mean Girl in my head her walking papers. The second, was to remind myself that writing isn't an Olympic sport for a reason. Not only would our uniform of ill fitting sweatpants and coffee stained literary t-shirts be highly frowned upon by the Russian judge, but at the core of it,  we are all simply battling with the creative forces inside of us and what will eventually make it onto the page. We're a community. A family. When one of us succeeds we all succeed. When someone turns off an episode of those motherflipping Kardashians to read a book...I think we all light up on the inside.

This year is all about being hopeful. Hopeful that I can complete this book I've been working on (forever)  and also write another one, and plan for others after that.  Hopeful that this writing community that I love will embrace me as one of their own and help me to become better. Hopeful that I'll stop worrying about being good enough or just stop worrying about silly things in general and just be the best writer I can be.

After the serious self doubt hullaballoo that was 2013, my word for this year is UNSHAKEABLE. My hope is unshakeable. My belief is unshakeable. My drive is unshakeable. My heart is unshakeable. I, am unshakeable.

Bring it 2014. I am totes ready.

7 comments:

  1. I love your word of the year and I am cheering you on!

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  2. Aww, I love this post, Tameka, and I can totally relate. While I truly enjoy celebrating the successes of my friends, it is hard not to succumb to those "I wish it was me" feelings. You aren't alone, lady, and you can TOTALLY do it. I'm cheering you on!

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  3. I was so happy when my reader showed that you had a new post. :) I really enjoy reading you. I am quite sure you ARE good "enough". I love reading what you write. I'm sure you are BETTER than good. I'm quite impressed with anyone that actually finishes writing a book. I wasn't able to truly finish nanowrimo the only time I participated. I had to rely on non-sensical stuff to get the # of words to get to the word count. But this comment isn't about me. It's about YOU. And the fact that I know you are a fantastic writer. Rock On. :)

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  4. YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR! Don't let anyone tell you different. xoxo

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  5. Thanks so much for being so honest - I felt a lot of the same doubt in 2013 and it put a huge damper on my writing. I'm really excited for all of my writer friends with agents and book deals, and they inspire me SO much, but it's hard sometimes not to feel "behind" or like I'm not good enough. What we have to remember is that every journey is different and each writer has their own pace and process. I hope you have a wonderful and productive 2014!

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