Of late, my focus (my writing focus) has been scattered at best. Not to say that I haven’t been chipping away at it, but distractions, my friends, are in the air. When I say distractions, I don’t mean binge watching The Walking Dead on my DVR, or a difficult work schedule. For me, distractions come in the form of self-doubt, getting under my skin like a tick. I scratch, and I dig at these ticks of doubt. I can pull out the body, but the head of the thing is lodged deep within.
Let me set the scene for you – you know, for posterity and whatnot. It was too dark when I woke up, the stars were still laying claim to the night sky. My alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but thanks to my nocturnal pets I lay in bed awake. It was cold, a lot colder than I thought it would be for this time of year in the desert, and our thin blanket was not doing the trick. My wife was up first, she let the cat out, “goddamn filthy wretched animals,” she muttered as she made for the slider. Before long though, she returned to sleep, and so – so, I did what any normal person would do: I went to work.
The drive, is usually wear these blogs come together. It is where I sit and think about what concerns me today. Today though, I thought nothing. Not because I’ve given up, not because I didn’t care, but I kept thinking: what’s the use? What could I possibly have to say of any great importance?
Ugh, I hate that. When I get so far into the bottomless pit of my head that not even a rope will get me out. Now, you may be asking yourself, “but hey, he is writing this, so…?”
I’m getting to that.
I have been focusing a lot of my attention on finishing the manuscript, letting the blog get away from me. It’s like I only have so many words, and if I blog, I won’t have enough words to continue writing my fictional work. Poppycock. Of course I’ll have words, I’m a wordy mother fucker. That does not mean however, that I have not been dissatisfied with my blogging performance of late.
To be honest, I’ve been phoning it in. Not because I don’t care, not because I don’t want to do it, but because of that nagging feeling. The overwhelming self-doubt that has me convinced that this doesn’t matter; that I don’t matter. It’s not all the time, and more often than not, it is a fleeting thought, but nonetheless, it is there.
Something happened today, hence the scene setting. I got to work, and began my vehicle inspection for the day. Unremarkable. I was in my self-doubt death spiral, and I remembered something that one of my characters said to the other. He said, “if it matters to you, then it matters.”
Of course he was referring to psychotic jealousy, but I can cherry pick something out of context, can’t I? This sentence, these eight words were enough give me pause. It does matter to me. That is why I do it, and if it matters enough to me for me to have started this whole thing, that it matters enough to me to continue.
It doesn’t matter whether five people, 500 people, or no people ever read this. It matters that it was important enough for me to write, and that it was important enough to me. Now as the sun crests the jagged mountains, painting the landscape in the morning light, it scares the ticks away, and with bloody hands, I cut out the head of self-doubt.
There are two rules to live by:
1. Never doubt yourself.
2. If you start to doubt yourself, see rule one.