That Darned Struggle Bus

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working through and with some low-level but constant anxiety and mild depression. It’s become background noise to the point where I’ve chosen to ignore it and decide my “official” emotion would be something else. However, those binged episodes of Stargate: Atlantis pretty much speak for themselves. One day of it? Okay. Four days? Yeah . . . something else going on there.

There are a few different things that are contributing to it, and the struggle to “fix” some of those things—because they are actionable items—has sent me further down the “f*ck everything, nothing matters” rabbit hole.

It’s ironic that the thing I want most to do (write and be a writer, and editing and being an editor) is also the same thing that causes me the most anxiety, to the point where I can’t write. I want to finish my book! I want to flesh out these short story ideas! I want to be published!

So, what’s stopping me? As near as I can tell, the crippling notion that I suck, that I can’t possibly compete with the other amazing writers out there. With editing, I live with the constant fear that my inability to vocalize the definition of intransitive verbs combined with the knowledge that I will miss something in a manuscript will cause the author untold amounts of pain and suffering.

Basically, fear is stopping me. The fear of succeeding.

What’s the solution? Plowing on through. Faking it until I manage to make it. Looking at all of these “roadblocks” as tests for my determination and commitment to succeed. Would it be easier to just give up and work at the grocery store? Hells yes. Do I really want to do that? Hells no.

Plowing on through and doing the thing even though it scares is you is so easily said, yet so very difficult to actually do. It’s not easy to just overcome your fears and get on with it. It’s freaking hard. Hell, people spend a lifetime in therapy trying to work up the courage to do it. “Just do it” is tossed about like it’s as simple as just doing it, when in reality it often takes multiple attempts, half-failures, resets, and giving up a few times before you can actually do it.

So, let’s make an agreement. I promise I won’t give up on this dream of writing and editing. You promise that you won’t give up on your dream, either. We’ll both keep doing what we need to do in order to get over those roadblocks in front of us. We’ll agree that it takes as long as it takes, and it’s okay if we get down sometimes.

We’ll keep keep hacking away at that damned roadblock until it’s just a little bump we can just walk on over with all the confidence and style we can muster. Agreed?

A pen, a writing prompt, and a handwritten short story.
Writing prompt and a handwritten short story. Sometimes I can get out of my own way.