Last week, depression reared its ugly head and grabbed me firmly by the throat. Having no will to fight, I let it whisper in my ear those seductive words that the hidden parts of me believes.
"Your writing is for shit."
"You don't have any friends because you're unlikeable."
"Why do you even try, no one cares about what you're doing."
"Give up. No one is ever going to read your crap."
You get the idea. It goes on and on like this. And it's very easy to let it sink into your heart when you spend hours at the keyboard alone. It's easy to to let it become a part of you when you really don't have any friends because you've isolated yourself so thoroughly in pursuit of your writing dream.
It's understandable. I don't leave the house much. I spend a lot of time doing the actual work involved with the act of writing (and editing) instead of trying to make friends or join peer groups. It's a painful activity for me anyway -- being social. So I've placed myself in that isolated prison of my own volition.
As for my writing being crap. I figure every writer goes through this. If they don't, they must have egos the size of Jupiter. I think it's one of those pendulum swing things. One time we all think our writing is awesome and we get feedback in support of those thoughts. Most of the time we think we're pretty okay writers. Then occasionally we think our writing is the worst thing ever put to paper. Even though we have proof to the contrary. We push through when the bad thoughts come. We can't stop. No matter what.
About no one ever reading our stuff. I think that's the most difficult to fight off. Especially for me. I hate promoting. I detest spamming. A continuous stream of "buy my book!" "read my book!" gets on my nerves and I sure as hell am not going to submit others to it. I don't mind 'talking' about my process and what I'm doing and every now and again mentioning that I have a book, (in case anyone forgot. heh). I think I just haven't found that balance. Promoting has always been, and probably will continue to be, my downfall. Even back when I was an artist, pimping my work was sheer torture. Yes, no one is ever going to read my book/s, because I don't promote to the nines.
However, I still refuse to give up. So what if only 50 people ever read my work. I should feel so lucky that perhaps, just maybe, I've enriched those 50 lives in some way. And those 50 people got the rarest of opportunities to glimpse inside my soul. For I do put my heart and soul into what I write. Some stories more than others, but all have at least a kernel of me hidden in the words so brazenly printed across the pages.
It's funny that for someone so painfully shy, I'm willing to do that. And I know in my heart, in spite of the depression monster that ever lurks in the shadows, that all the best writers do. And we all press onward. We cry ourselves out, believing, for a moment, all those insidious words, then we pick ourselves up and move forward. Because we're writers.