I've been away from blogging due to a family medical emergency, so I thought it fitting to return with
|Tissot, The Dreamer (1871)|
Maybe some writers have uninterrupted careers. I don’t know any, and I certainly don’t qualify. Sometimes it seems that my writing life has been one uninterrupted series of interruptions. If it’s not one thing, it’s not another. Then I have to wrestle not just with getting back up to speed on the project du jour and making up for lost time, but wrestling with guilt, regret, and self-doubt.
Guilt because I should have been able to keep focused, keep writing, No Matter What. Isn’t that what a professional writer does? If “those other” successful writers can churn out 2500 words a day, come rain come shine come conventions come weddings, then I should be able to. Right?
Regret because of all the moments spent checking my email or playing Scrabble online or anything else but writing. If only I’d resisted the temptation, I’d be well ahead of the game when an interruption happens.
Self-doubt because the present interruption will only prove – publicly and conclusively – that I don’t have what it takes. Everything else I’ve written (12 traditionally published novels, somewhere around 60 published short stories, award nominations, etc.) was smoke and mirrors. Hand-waving, nothing more. And now everyone will find out. It’s called the imposter syndrome, and I am far from alone in experiencing it. My version is that because I’ve been interrupted and I’m having trouble getting back on track, I never will. That’s all she wrote. Literally.
Before I run the risk of turning into a blubbering mass of self-pity, I do have some defense against the aforementioned demons.