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Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Horror of the Elephant

The truth is, I am terrified of this blog. I am terrified of it for the same reason that I spend every day at a dead run, like a scared rabbit with bulging bloodshot eyes and a meth'd-out heartbeat. I am terrified because of the very topic about which I write. I am terrified of failure.

So I stopped. I walked away from this thing I created. About which I was so proud. I stopped writing. For over a year. Because I wanted to write this and turn it into a book. And I submitted my proposal and got rejected. I was rejected by, like, ten agents. Which, if you speak to anyone in the book business, is nothing. I should have tens of hundreds of rejection letters proudly piling up as I slog away at my dream.I should know in my heard that I have a book in my soul that people want to read.

Should Should Should Should Should.

As my best friend (the therapist) would say, "Stop 'shoulding' on yourself." Gigglesnort.

I have a very serious inferiority complex about my work. Any work. I am consistently surprised when I get positive feedback at my job- which exasperates my mother because I have been there a year and received some great praise. But every time I get a new client, I get excited about the prospect that it doesn't seem like they want to fire me. Not yet.

I have a trial at the end of the month. They will probably fire me then.

But I suffer from that affliction that I believe affects so many potential artists, dreamers, creators- will people like it? For me, it is always one step forward, two steps back. I dip my toe into the icy cold waters of possibility and draw it back because I feel that if what I am going to write isn't going to be a best seller- then maybe I should write something else, or not at all. An idea dies in infancy because would it sell? Would people like it? Would it appeal to the popular consciousness and become a phenomenon? All sorts of forces are at work here- not the least of which is the primacy of popular approval as the rubric against which I would judge any creative effort. Yet, we all know that most artists are not appreciated in their own time- although one must create to be appreciated in any time at all.

Still, I sit frozen. Frozen by expectation. The expectation of potential readers, critics, myself.

When people began reading this blog, almost regularly, again I was paralyzed because I felt the weight of expectation. Again, I felt that each post would not live up to the expectations of those that read the last. I ran away, hid, covered my eyes and pretended you could not see me.

This elephant I vow to eat.  One bite at a time. One post, at least, a week. They may not be good, they will probably be awful, but they will keep a promise I have made to myself to write. Because I believe the little voice that says that I must.

 This post has been neither funny nor thought provoking. Next time I will do better. For now, here is a picture of a hairy eyeball.