An update.

Things haven’t been great, guys.

A little less than a month ago, I hit my year mark. A year since I decided to take time off from work and pursue writing seriously.

A year.

Things kind of imploded at that point. An entire year had passed, and what did I have to show for it? A tiny, wrinkled stack of a first draft, pages stained with wine and coffee, notes scribbled in margins and in between lines, pages curling from being carried around so many times. It’s so small, just a tiny pile of papers bound together with a couple alligator clips at the top. It doesn’t look like a year. It hardly looks like anything.

And what do I have ahead of me? A mountain of revisions. Feedback from critique readers. More revisions. Querying for an undertermined amount of time. The work yawns out ahead of me, a dark trail stretching out for who knows how long.

If it was easy, everyone would do it, right? But I know I could have done better, could have worked harder this past year. I feel like I failed. Like I failed myself, like I failed my husband, who’s been working hard to support the both of us; I feel embarrassed, knowing I’ve told people what I’ve been trying to do.

I thought I’d be farther along by now. But I didn’t try hard enough.

So now I’m looking for a part time job, but I’m scared, because it’s been a year. It’s going to be hard to get back into it. I think beginning to earn money again will ease some of my anxiety, but I don’t know where to apply, or what to do. I feel so lost.

I could sense depression sinking back in, a black trickle pooling up inside of me. I visited my therapist last week for the first time in a year in an effort to dig my fingers into it, to grip it and attempt to get it back under control. I’m exercising every day now, logging my food to make sure I eat enough and eat healthy. It’s easy to slip into depression, like sinking backwards into a bathtub, water slowly rising over your ears, your eyes, your face, until sound is muffled and sight is blurred and everything is coccooned in a sort of numbness.

It’s easy to sink into that. It’s harder, sometimes, to resist it. To fight back.

I’m trying, and I’m not trying. I want to work on my draft, and I’m not working on my draft. It sits undisturbed on the table where it’s sat for a week now. I stare at it. I hate myself. I look at job listings. I go to the therapist. I stare out the window and do nothing.

Today I plan on going back to Panera, where I haven’t been in weeks. I’ll bring my draft and my laptop and my notebook and my pens, and even if it’s only for an hour, I hope to get some work done. Moving an inch is better than not moving at all.

Waxing and waning.

512 words, and my stomach is a week old croissant, all tough and tied up in a knot, and I feel like I’ve messed up everything with this story, and like nothing is right, and like none of them are the right age, and like I’m trying so hard, and it’s moving so slowly and it’s just moving so. slowly. and what if I don’t finish it? And what if I hit a slump and I just give up and I don’t finish it?

The stomach is a month-old croissant now, a hard, doughy lump plopped in the center of me that I can’t shake loose. I just have so much anxiety tonight and I can’t stop thinking you idiot.

Things will look better in the morning, I hope. The sun always gives things a better perspective. The moon draws out the shadows, lets your worries play against you. I’m hoping things seem better in the morning.

Another day, same disappointments.

I’m embarrassed to post here because I haven’t accomplished anything in the past few days. But that’s what this blog is for – to keep me on track, and to lay out in bare and blunt words what I have and haven’t accomplished, day by day.

I avoided checking in here the past couple days exactly because I didn’t want to see the zero written down, hard and hollow. It’s embarrassing how little I have accomplished, and it’s embarrassing to keep saying that over and over, and see little change.

Oh well. I have a few hours write now to sit down and try to be productive. It’s been a difficult battle with myself, fighting the laziness, the slothfulness, the anxiety, the excuses. It’s like there’s two warring factions in me, and the negative side feels vastly more experienced, skilled and loud. But I have to keep trying to overpower it.

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m trying to fail.

I mean, honestly.

Daily word count for the day: 165.

Yeah, one hundred and sixty five.

Jesus.

Oh, word count for the weekend? You want to know how much I wrote this weekend? An enormous amount of zero.

So I’m beginning to wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I want this, right? I quit my job for this. I’m putting my mental health and even my relationships on the line for this. So what do I do? I hardly write anything, all day?

I hate myself so much right now it is actually making my stomach hurt, thinking about how little I’ve achieved. Why am I acting like this? Is there something wrong with me? There has to be, right?

Because I mean, last night before I went to bed I told myself, “It’s okay, you can write all day tomorrow, and then you’ll feel better.” And I got up at 9:30 am and said, “I’m going to write today,” and then it was 5:00 pm and I hadn’t written anything, and then it was 6:00 pm and I finally sat down and wrote 165 words.

So honestly, what is that? I just want to know why I’m doing this to myself, because there’s nothing else holding me back, it’s just me, and I don’t know why I’m doing it.

It was a stupid idea, quitting my job. Maybe I wasn’t ready for this. I mean, clearly I wasn’t – look at the output I’ve been producing. I’m so disappointed, so upset with myself. And I don’t even understand why I’m acting this way. I have no good excuse.

All I can do is try harder tomorrow, but I’ve said that a million times. I think it’s time to start applying for jobs again.

Or am I just afraid of failing? Am I somehow allowing myself to fail so I don’t have to be afraid of failing? Like – if I do this to myself, I can’t say it was my writing, I can’t say it was what I produced that was awful. It was just because I couldn’t focus. Because then I failed because I couldn’t buckle down – not because I tried my hardest, and it was bad.

Well, that’s bullshit. If that’s what I’m doing, if it’s subconscious or whatever – that’s BS.

I’m so sick of being afraid of what I’ve longed to do forever.

I have an opportunity right now. Do I even know how lucky I am to have this? I need to take it, choke it, make it my own, whatever – just as long as I try. I’m sick of not trying and wondering and thinking about how it might be someday.

This whole post is trite. It doesn’t matter. I have tomorrow, I have tonight. I don’t know why I keep allowing myself to fail, day after day, but I don’t need to understand why it’s been happening to change it.

Listen up, me: I don’t know if you have battling factions going on in your head right now, if your subconscious is whispering things to your conscious, if your brain is allowing your head to get distracted…look, I don’t care what’s going on in there. But I’m telling you as the conscious part of me that it’s killing me to see me failing like this. So can you please work with me here? Can you please help me achieve this? Because it’s been years of me dreaming about it, feeling like it was what I was supposed to do, and maybe you think you’re protecting me or something, I don’t know. But I need your help if I’m going to do this, and I have to try. I have to. If I don’t…I can already feel it like a black tangled knot in the center of me. If I can’t try to achieve this, it will just get bigger. So please help me sit down and write.

Please.

Writerly accomplishments today: zero.

Don’t tell anyone, okay?

I’m really just failing myself, I know. Me and the guy who’s working 9 to 5 help me try and accomplish my dream, I mean. Ugh. Way to go, June.

Does writing in this blog count? No.

It’s just that…I worked today at my volunteer position and it always exhausts me. And afterward, when I came home, well, I just needed to take a nap, and then my brother stopped by unannounced, and talking, and food, and…and the day snowballed into midnight and now here I am, too tired to try and approach my hot mess of a short story.

Ugh. Okay fine. Give me fifteen minutes to work on it so I don’t hate myself so much. Be right back.

***
Fifteen minutes has passed, and I’ve written a little bit more in the short story that’s going nowhere. It’s like I keep writing, but the story isn’t moving, like trying to go upwards on a downwards escalator. But whatever. I’m going to finish this story, no matter how awful it is. I have to finish it. I have to know I can finish a piece of fiction, or I’m afraid I won’t be able to move on and accomplish anything bigger like I want to. And it’s the first fiction I’ve written in a very long time, so I think it’s okay if it’s terrible. I need to keep going.

So, Thursday was a bit of a bust. Here’s hoping I have a little more progress I can blog about tomorrow.