Friday, January 2, 2015

Crisis of Faith

Despite the title, this is not a religious rant.  This is about writing, which could also be considered a religion.  Specifically, it seems recently I'm filled with more insecurities and self-doubt than normal.

Some time ago, I wrote how important my writing is in helping me feel better about myself (here).  But am I writing for me, or is this all for you?  I do have a lot to say, and I want to get it out of my tiny brain, because there isn't much room.  But I also hate repeating myself when someone asks my opinion.  And I am eager for everyone to be entertained by my silly insights.  So maybe my writing is for both of us.

But am I "successful"?  And what constitutes success in writing?  Is it how many likes I get on facebook?  Or how many books I've sold?  How often people refer to my writing as a good resource?  How many followers I have in Russia?  I am most definitely unsuccessful if that's how you measure things today.  Although I have had over 600 people in Russia read my blogs, so to you, I say, здравствуйте, and спасибо.

I sincerely doubt I'll ever get rich writing (or make any money whatsoever), but occasionally I'll be proud of something I wrote.  And of course, I want my friends to enjoy what I say.  So maybe that's how I measure my own success.

But what if my friends don't care?  Or what if I am ridiculed for my opinions?  Or what if my writing was unclear, and I have to try to explain myself, or defend my views?  Then I'm filled with regret, and think maybe I should have just kept my big mouth shut... or my fat fingers still.  It starts to feel like I'm back at the nerdy table in school hoping the jocks ignore me during lunch... back when being nerdy wasn't so popular.

I can't expect everyone to agree with me, and that's never the point.  I just want to be "entertaining " and clear with my words, and I'm always open for discussion.  But why bother if I'm ignored, or told nobody cares what I think, or my views are constantly ridiculed, (all of which I've heard from others in the last few months).  Often, I think I should just keep my opinions to myself, because everyone has them, and who am I to try to express my views on anything.  Some of my friends have made it very clear, nobody really cares what I have to say on any given subject.

And sure, I can take a joke!  I often poke fun at myself, and sometimes people 'bashing' me in creative ways makes me smile, because sometimes it is genuinely funny.  So conversely, maybe I should just lighten up.  Maybe I take things too seriously, and I'm too insecure for my own good, (I can already hear a collective "yes!" from some friends).  After all, this is 'Merica, and we often poke fun at our friends for fun!  So of course, it's possible that I'm just too old fashioned and expect others to support and encourage each other in their efforts.  On a related note, I've heard the number one defense of a bully is to say, "I was only joking".  Personally, I could never do that.  It's just not in me to squash someone's talents, and maybe I'm just not a very good poker.  I might roll my eyes at their opinion or maybe give (hopefully) constructive criticism, but I couldn't mock anything they do, and I couldn't accuse my friends of shamelessly plugging their work, because self promotion is never so easy to do... unless you're a painfully arrogant ass.  

So maybe I should just become arrogant and that would solve all my problems.  Unfortunately, I've always been insecure and question everything I do.  I'll re-read things I wrote two years ago, not for arrogance, but looking for mistakes.  I always think, maybe there is a better way for me to express my thoughts.  So from time to time, I'll re-arrange a sentence, or delete an unnecessary word (looking for changes in previous posts is a fun game you can play at home!).  But my thoughts don't change. 

I should also add, I do have some people that genuinely enjoy reading what I write.  I am both amazed and grateful to all of you.  And every now and then, I'll find one of my posts on another site somewhere, which seems weird and cool (remember how I said I'm not making any money at this... so I'm not too concerned).

And I'm not posting this because I'm seeking any kind of sympathy.  Maybe like with previous posts I've written, I'll never know the right answer (the write answer?).  As I said, I do have a lot of things inside me, and sometimes speaking doesn't always happen so well, so I'm again writing my thoughts on a topic that bothers me.  And maybe some of you creative types have experienced the same frustrations in your work.  So do we just give up?  Maybe not...

I should just keep a private journal, and when I'm long gone, future civilizations can find it and read my words and figure out how to make a better version of me.