Excuses

Last month, I printed out a monthly calendar and started writing down my word count towards the novel for each day. On days when I’d written nothing, I’d simply put down the hideous, shaming number zero, where it burned singular and lonely in its little daily square.

This month, I’m taking it a step further and writing down my reasons when I have a zero day. So far, I have three of them (out of five in the month! I hate myself). And the reasons consist of: 10/2 Headache, 10/3 Villain issues/brainstorming, and 10/4/ which just says UGH. Because I basically was in such a state of self-loathing at that point that I spent the entire day on the couch, miserable.

Isn’t it weird that the solution to my gloom is to simply sit down and write, but I just keep…not doing it? Mustn’t I hate myself very much to keep doing this to myself? And then when I do sit down to write, and I realize ten minutes in that my eyebrows have crinkled together in a vice grip and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to relax them…why am I doing this to myself? Shouldn’t this be fun? Shouldn’t I be metaphorically skipping through a sunny meadow, since I’m trying to pursue my dream, allegedly doing the thing I love? Maybe I actually hate writing. Have I just been wrong my entire life?

I’m beating myself up more often than not. When I’m writing, I’m trying to shut up the inner critic and jam out the words. When I’m not writing, I’m hating myself for not writing. And I want to run away from it all and work at Subway. Except something small and quiet inside me keeps saying, “This is what you want to do. Keep trying.” And somehow, it manages to be heard above the clamor, above me stomping and flailing and brewing a thousand cups of procrastination coffee. And it calms me for a second, and I sit back down.

I think I’m making myself crazy. But that was probably bound to happen whether or not I decided to finally try and pursue this writing thing.

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.

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.