Fighting the mental gremlins mean that even though I feel inadequate, I keep going. For me this often means writing, even if I feel like it is not something anyone wants to read. I have been sharing my poetry more lately on my Instagram. My reason? I am getting the reactions there. It makes me feel like I am pimping out my soul to ask for reactions, but I end up using the positive feedback to boost myself in the fight against the voice in the back of my head… You know that voice… The one that tells me how awful I am, how awful my writing and art is.
I have been avoiding any posting of opinions lately, mostly because I have been feeling less than qualified to have opinions. Much less speak them. What that means is that I have been hiding behind my poetry a lot more lately. I finished and published Music For The Soul. I am about thirty poems into the next volume (Poetry Kisses). I am also looking into helping to promote other authors through my blog. (Which would give me more to post here as well as help with promoting my fellow writers.)
See, I firmly believe that as a writer, I should be helping other writers. I am not in competition with anyone, and the world can only benefit from others who are writing. Lately, I have been seeing controversy over trademarks in the writing world (specifically the romance genre…) I watched horrified that it was even a consideration. How is a single word causing so much trouble.
So I have been watching that and keeping my opinions to myself.
I will be trying to post more information as I receive it about the promoting.
I think that I have been improving over the last few years. The first picture is the cover I did for the poetry volume I published in 2013….
the second is the cover that I did today as I am going through and cleaning up the layouts on my poetry volumes. I see a huge difference. Time and learning helps make a better and more professional image… But it is also that I am not the same person I was then. I have been reading the poems that I wrote for those original volumes…. My words then are not who I am now.
So I look forward to seeing who I become as the years ahead approach. And may it mean that I continue with verse and words to share with the world at large.
Creative folks are sensitive, and often it’s the little things that send us into waves of self doubt and wavering, crushing questions about our own worth.
Now I am not claiming that you should not be honest with those folks. Quite the opposite. Just be aware that jumping a creative soul for a miscommunication is likely to cause them to question their own worth. Their own value and whether the work that they they do is worth showing to the world.
So before jumping off the deep end when you are dealing with a creative soul, consider if they were aware of how things went on the other end? Consider asking instead of jumping on them. Because if you are wrong, you will result in them questioning their own worth. Questioning whether they have anything worth putting out into a busy world.
In all things please, be kind first. You don’t know who’s life it might save. And if you decide that you dislike what they have created? Again answer with kindness. Telling the creative to go kill themselves, well the likelihood of them taking it to heart is high. Think before you speak. Or risk the death of another creative soul.
Be kind to each other, for the human race needs one another.
I’m sick. And when I get sick, I get maudlin. I got a notice that I was getting a deposit from Amazon for the books that I have available. It is the biggest deposit yet, a whole $2.77. That amazes me. It is a sign that people are buying the books that I have written… Mostly poetry, but I have some children’s books and a novella (as Serena).
When I told my mother that I was published her first question was if I had made any money. At the time I stumbled with my answer because I had only made thirty some cents. The fact that I had made anything was a miracle to me, but I knew that would not be what she wanted to hear.
For me, publishing is only a way of being heard. Still, making enough from my writing to buy a drink…. Well it humbles me. Would I like to be able to pay the bills through it? Well of course. I am not stupid. I just choose to be thankful for the small things. How often does changing the perspective change the way something feels?
Small miracles lift up the downtrodden. I choose to see this as a small miracle, so that I am uplifted. What perspective can you change to adjust your view?
I sat down to write this morning and realized that though this has been a rocky year personally…. It was a great year for my writing. I finished and published three volumes of poetry this year and am nearly done with a fourth. I put in play a pen name, Serena Mossgraves. As Serena I released a Novella (The Death of Neverland). I am nearly done with my first novel (Rust, Gore, and the Junkyard Zombie)… Just have to finish the editing, the writing is done. I have done several short stories and worked with two children’s stories. I also started collaboration with my sister on our Spiritual Gardening blog.
Looking it all over, it really does not seem like as much as it is. Still, it is more than I have accomplished before. With the end of the year nigh, I find myself looking back at the things that I wanted for 2017…and thinking ahead to what I want from 2018. I refuse to measure my life in regret, so I do not dwell on the things that went sideways. However, I do look at them and see what I can learn from what I have done. This year, though a personal hot mess, I was able to redirect myself back to my writing. I was able to make it a priority. That is behavior that I plan on continuing.
What about you? Was 2017 a good year? Why? What will be carried over into the new year?
(Picture borrowed from Debbie Burns, head unicorn and founder of Debbieburns.me all rights to it are hers)
My writing mentor posted this picture earlier. It brings up a topic that I believe I would like to try and tackle. I have no doubt of how capable I am. I am aware of my strengths, my flaws, and the areas I need to work on. Still I have moments where I question my worth.
Now I could blame my past for that doubt. Claim that I am flawed because no one has ever seen my worth….but I really hate that. It is possible to both know your capability and to doubt your worth. I am a strong and open minded individual, still I struggle. I don’t see what others claim is talent. I see a lifetime of fighting. Of me trying to be half of what those around me said I was.
I struggle because this is the path I see. I stuggle because I refuse to quit. Perhaps the above is true, perhaps some can see the ability within and it will set them free…still not all of those who are struggling fail to see their own capability. I am a strong woman, I have a generous heart. I am creative, with a quick mind. I am a survivor who has learned to be more….still I have days when I don’t understand the love everyone around me has for the broken soul I am. Days when I am the one that sees too much of life and has no way of processing it.
This is just part of being me. Those who love me generally understand those days. They are quick to reach to help me understand why I am loved. And even then I understand my capability…even as I have no understanding of my self worth.
I struggle to see myself as others do. I can list my flaws innumerable. I logically know that I am not what my mental gremlins say. I am not selfish, nor cruel…not intentionally anyway. Still there are those days where I expect more out of people simply because it is something that I can do. I am a poor uneducated woman who is more than a little crazy. I am in constant pain due to physical issues. Still I show up, I do what needs done, and I move on. So on the occasion that I need to remind myself that I am not normal….well I find myself also reminding myself to be kind.
Kindness is not just for the rest of humanity. Sometimes the person who needs your kindness most is yourself. My writing coach, the Amazing Debbie Burns, gave me a couple of methods of dealing with the negative thoughts. One involves listing 100 words about yourself. You then relace negative words with positive ones. This is meant to try to get the brain to replace them when you think about self. We have to try and train ourselves to keep the mental gremlins at bay. Still after a lifetime of self abuse, it is not terribly easy to see the good that everyone else does.
So I will continue to do my word lists to help me see the bright light shining. I will start with the words I did above. “poor uneducated crazy” are all three replaceable. Yes, I have money woes but I have food, I have clothes, I have shelter. So I am content. There see one word replaced. Uneducated is not true. I have my high school diploma. I have taught myself computer programming in c#. I have studied several other things independently. So I can replace that with self educated. Now only one word remains. Crazy. Ugh it is the hardest. After all, I am struggling with mental illness. I am aware of the stigmas. I think perhaps for that I should use the word Unique.
So what words do you say about yourself that perhaps you need to change? I would encourage everyone to examine the labels we use to define ourselves, and in turn the labels we call others.