I should be writing more.
Not good – me writing so little.
Not enough words.
No, not enough good words.
I need a break.
Tired after writing this?
This is nowhere near good enough.
Never good enough.
Why do I make this so hard?
That’s what she said.
And I call myself a writer.
This is pathetic.
I am pathetic.
Go, do something else.
Exercise for once goddamit.
Walk, lift something, hit something.
Do anything but this.
Another bad day for writing.
Another bad day in a long line of them.
How many will it take for me to take a hint?
Maybe if I read more, that would help.
What to read?
Too many choices – so little time.
Will this inspire me, or discourage me?
No, my time needs to be spent writing, not reading.
So I need to find more time then.
Need to cut out more of my social life.
What social life?
Cut back on my leisure activities, maybe.
So I can become another worker drone?
More writing, less working.
Gotta quit my day job.
Working too much.
Need to work less, write more.
Simple as that.
But need money to live.
And I call this living?
That is often the song and dance playing inside my head when my depression gets the better of me – like it has been in the past few weeks.
I get sick, too sick to write, and then I seem to get sicker as result of that first wave of symptoms, feeling guilty about not writing, doubting my illness, blaming myself.
Eventually, that sickness passes, like a nighttime thunderstorm rolling on past, or sometimes longer, like a long spell of frost or rain or something that stays around longer than anyone likes.
And as I continue to grapple with that whole cycle, I am really beginning to appreciate that for me, as an artist, a writer, a self-employed entrepreneur, my greatest skill for accomplishing my goals is NOT going to be in waiting for a cure to depression.
Well, for one reason, depression feels like a pretty predominant attribute of my own character at this point, that it would be awfully strange and surreal to imagine myself as no longer affected by the low moods and alienation I so frequently experience and which I attempt to channel into written words.
But more to the point, a healthier and more holistic solution than waiting for a cure is going to be found in me learning to forgive myself and move on.
“Forgive me for my sins, my faults, my vices, my fears, my laziness, my failures.”
“Done, forgiven, forget about it, don’t mention it.”
Seriously, I have a tough enough time to keep chasing these lofty goals of mine, the last thing I need to do is go against myself, to double down on my defeat, to guilt myself for being so bold enough as to be a human.
Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which colour to slide down on the rainbow.
So knock it off – you are allowed to fuck up and to do so more than the Others.
You are allowed to learn and lose.
But please just come off it with all this posturing that you already know how to win at Life, like you played and beat this level before as if you have any real clue, any real reason to be dumping on yourself for struggling, getting lost, trying again.
You are on the only team you will ever know, so make nice.
We get used to suffering, and we always gravitate towards the familiar, even if what is familiar is not something that feels so good.
We accept the love that we think we deserve so you won’t stop until you fulfil your own make-believe prophecy of fortune or doom.
We think that greatness needs to arise from anguish and that if you enjoy the ride well then you are probably not doing it just right.
Get what I’m saying?
Learn to anticipate those so-called weaknesses.
Steer into the skid.
Face the monster.
Fly into the storm.
Just do anything but blame yourself for being, well, yourself.
People working in the arts engage in street combat with The Fraud Police on a daily basis, because much of our work is new and not readily, conventionally categorized.
As an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with a magic wand of legitimacy.
You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand.
And you feel stupid doing it.
There’s no ‘correct path’ to becoming a real artist.
You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to university, getting published, getting signed to a record label.
But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head.
You’re an artist when you say you are.
And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.
— Amanda Palmer
Now go and make some good art.
Thanks for reading ❤