I now have nineteen drafts of blog posts, all of which have been abandoned.
It’s something I’ve started to notice, and I am having a lot of trouble with it at the moment. There are many things that I just give up on because they ‘aren’t good enough’.
Scrolling back through, I can see that some of the drafts are only one word long. One word that isn’t good enough.
I’ve got plenty of excuses, of course.
I had a headache. I wasn’t feeling it. I was in a rush. I was distracted. I’m just not a very good blogger. I really need a chocolate bar right now.
The chocolate bar was great, by the way. Totally worth it.
In my work, I’m surrounded by published authors and regular bloggers. I’ve developed a very nasty habit of looking at them and thinking to myself, ‘how can I ever be as good as that?’
I always come to the same conclusion: I can’t. I’m a pretender. I don’t really know how to write.
I’ve decided to face this problem head on and compare it to another art that I occasionally dabble in: music.
More specifically, singing.
I’ve been singing for quite a few years now. Since I was about eight.
I’ve sung onstage in front of audiences, I’ve sung in front of friends (usually while a bit inebriated) and I sing in the shower a lot. I love singing in the shower.
Seriously, if I could bottle up my shower voice and sell it, I’d make millions.
I think about my time singing and what would have happened if I had applied the same line of thought to my singing as I do to my writing.
Imagine the scene: lights go up on an empty stage. A single solitary (and very attractive, if I do say so myself ) figure walks into the centre. Music starts to play, a soft, piano piece that begins to build, a crescendo that you can tell is leading up to something. It’s an introduction, the start of a story. The figure takes a deep breath and…
Oh, he’s walked offstage.
You silently curse yourself for spending so much on a ticket. Your date, sat next to you in the theatre, gives you a very confused look. You can tell they are trying to think of an excuse to leave. Somebody at the back of the room coughs uncomfortably. No one seems to know what to do.
I got sidetracked there. Back to the post.
After all, how can I ever be as good as the other singers? I’ll never be as good as them. So I don’t even try.
Obviously, this is not a good thing. You’ll never know what you can do if you don’t stick with it. You never know what might happen if you stick with it to the end.
Now, it might seem like this entire blog post has just been your standard ‘don’t compare yourself to others and keep trying’ post… and yes it has, but there is something else it has done too.
It got me to write.
Checkmate, negative voices in my head.
There is a quiet scampering of tiny weasel feet running off towards the horizon.