I’m unsure of how to start this post.
Only a few weeks ago I was ready to come back and be active again in this wonderful community.
I guess you can never predict what will happen in your life. Things that come out of nowhere and then your brain decides that it is done. That was the breaking point. You can’t function.
The last two years I have been under attack. My mental health was like at tiny little plant that was trying to grow in hail storms, tornadoes, and floods. It was a struggle but I survived. It still grew even though bruised and beaten.
I made it through my roof replacement. Broken lights. Floor replacements. A broken stove. Then flooding in my basement. Leaks in my house every time it rained. Finding out the roofer didn’t do a good job. More floods.
Now a sinking front porch.
These were all stresses on me mentally and financially. I really can’t afford to fix any of these things, but I saved and struggled and now with my porch I don’t know what to do really.
The small plant inside of me was still alive though. Asking others for help is probably the most embarrassing and humiliating thing for me to do. I know we all need help sometimes but for the last two years I feel like I have been such a taker. I set up a GoFundMe and now in my mind I just want to delete it. I hate that I made one. I hate myself. I am still ashamed.
All these house things they were tough. I had my writing and my community and things would be okay.
Then I got back a critique.
I know as a writer you need to be able to handle critique. I actually love it. There is nothing better than making my book the best it can be and seeing it improve. Getting the comments back and finding new ways to connect the story. It is so amazing. I get more and more confidence with each edit.
I suffer a lot of self doubt since I am terrible at self editing my own work. TERRIBLE. One of the reasons I hand write my first draft is that I can turn off my grammar brain and just create. However, I can spot mistakes in others work but I cannot for the life of me catch the mistakes in my own.
It has always been embarrassing. I teach. I should know how to see that I have a run on. Also why do I mess up sent and scent and where and were? I know the difference but it is like my fingers have a will of their own. Ha. I find the mistakes sometimes. Other times I read it like I think it is in my head.
In the critique I got back she really reamed me for my grammar. She called me amateurish. That this was the worse grammar she has ever seen in the history of the contest. That I would never be able to publish if I don’t know the basic tools. Also that she was supposed to be encouraging but she would be doing me a disservice.
It is funny because I do know the basic rules. Commas are still the enemy. There are trickier things that I do forget and I have to refresh myself on before I teach them. I mean, I don’t really have the MLA guidelines memorized… However, I can see a run on in something else but why not my own writing?
So this critique really hit the heart of my self doubt as a writer. Yes, things like grammar should come more naturally to me, but when I’ve tried to make my writing perfect I don’t write. I never finish.
I know this very post is full of errors that I will not see. It is like all my writing is in my voice and I can’t undo that to make it grammatically correct. It is a conversation and I’m talking to you.
I don’t know.
I do know that I’m not okay.
I haven’t written for two weeks and I’m scared.
Between the financial struggle with my house and my self doubt… I can feel it. The claws sinking in telling me to just lay down in bed. Not to do anything because why bother. That there is no way I can ever get out of this hole so why try.
I’m not okay. The small plant is dying. I don’t know what to do. Part of this is that I cut myself away from this community. That is what you do when things get bad, most of you will understand. I didn’t need a break from you all. I needed to be more involved, but you start to isolate yourself and that is how it works.
I’m holding my reasons close to me this week. I just don’t want it to win.