First, I presented a lofty goal to my accountability group, and as of this writing, I haven’t met it. Then, after telling myself I was going to quit worrying about some issues my oldest child is facing, I didn’t quit worrying. I worried, and worried, and cried, and lost yet another night’s sleep, after which I had to wake up bright and early the next morning and go to work. I also repeatedly and obsessively checked my e-mail because I knew I would be hearing back from the results of a writing competition I entered a few months ago. After finding unexpected success in a recent fiction-writing contest, I had high hopes. Perhaps they were unrealistic hopes, and I spent too much time worrying about whether or not I had done well. I’ve also fallen behind on my personal writing blog and can’t even bring myself to start planning out the next few weeks’ content.
I channeled anxiety and nervous energy in an unhealthy way. Instead of sitting down at my computer and trying to write through it, I turned away from the words that usually bring me comfort. I let the self-doubt creep in, and I let those negative voices in my head nestle their way deep into my psyche. I let them win. Because of that, I wasn’t surprised when I received my standard “thank you for entering the competition, but . . .” e-mail.
It took me a few days, but I’m tunneling my way out of it. I reminded myself that fiction judging is subjective. That’s why some agents will take on a project in a heartbeat while another may say “Meh. Not really for me.” I’ve had several different freelance assignments come to me in the past few weeks, too, so there are still editors who want to work with me. I took myself to see my theatre company’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” and I let the tears flow throughout the second act.
Tomorrow is another day, though. I will wake up tomorrow, pour myself a strong cup of coffee, and remind myself how far I have come. The writing journey is full of ups and downs, and my own is no different.
Have you had any stumbling blocks in your writing path lately? How did you deal with them?
Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also blogs at FinishedPages.com. Her short story, “The Polaroid,” placed first in the Suspense/Thriller category of the 2017 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards.