How great is the middle of the night? When rationality has disappeared, along with your ability to sleep, and it’s not as easy to remind yourself that doubts are not closer than they appear.
Luckily for me, my doubts aren’t discriminatory, and will present themselves to me from all facets of life to feel slightly nauseated over. I think anyone who tries hard and cares a lot will always doubt they’re doing enough but what’s the deal with the old brainy-o deciding the hours of 2.48 – 4.13am or thereabouts are appropriate times to ruminate over such matters?
Matters usually regarding, but not limited to:
- Why am I writing a blog? On the internet? Am I mad? Who would do that? People don’t want to read this. The people who really don’t want to read it will tell you so, in words you aren’t particularly appreciative of. Take it down, this is ridiculous.
- Why am I writing a book? That people might read? People who don’t know me? Worse, people who do know me! Do I really want people to read my private thoughts? Am I insane? Who would do this?
- Did I leave the oven on?
Fortunately there is usually a cat or small child to accidentally hit me directly in the face when I’m not expecting it to bump me out of my reverie (and possibly give me a black eye, why are children never still in slumber?!)
By choosing a career as a writer, I’ve basically resigned myself to a life of crippling self-doubt, so there’s that. Absolutely every author hates their writing and themselves, and then they die. Yay!
If writing wasn’t some kind of weird compulsion for me (let’s not get into the psychology of then sharing that writing in public, there’s something I’ll never understand yet do every day), I would absolutely get another job and stick to my hobbies that don’t require conversing with actual people.
I attended a writing workshop yesterday, and we were all discussing the reasons why people write, and were encouraged to discover our own motivations so we can remember them when doubt strikes. Folks said they wrote to help people, to raise awareness, to tell a story, to provide a voice. I came up with exactly zero ideas, so I expect I can add “completely clueless about reason for being” to my midnight madness in the very near future. Watch this space.
I love the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson I was reminded of today, which starts “do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment”.
*sets early morning phone reminder to quit being squeamish and consider donning lab coat instead*
I love that I can think of all of this as an experiment. Failure optional. Probably recommended. I thoroughly raise my bunsen burner aka pen to you all.