The journal this morning was really brief and wandery; it was hard to stay on any one thought for any length of time (which is a relatively clear indication that I’m trying to avoid some topic). One of the things I’ve been trying to do is sort out what’s holding me back from being more successful as a writer; I kind of just assume that anything that’s holding me back has roots in my own behavior. In some cases it doesn’t, but since I can’t help that–those things I just blow off.
So this morning: one of the pieces that bubbled up out of nowhere was thinking that I “couldn’t” write novels. (I counted them up this morning; at least 25 completed novels, mostly ghostwritten, mostly since 2012.) I’ll probably have to cycle back around to this; I feel like I haven’t truly dug all the way down on it.
The other piece that I found interesting was that I noticed that I sometimes derail good habits on other levels, too, using the excuse that “the new thing will be better than sticking with the habits of the old thing.” Despite the fact that the things I want to blow off are habits that improve every aspect of my life. Could it be that I’m approaching some kind of success and am afraid of it? What it feels like, looking back through my journal this morning…
I feel like other writers will look down on me if I do anything but short stories and longer works that nobody else is crazy enough to do–[for example] the Alice obsession. Kind of that’s on crack, though. You get to write series. [Just because my writing series] hasn’t worked before–that’s kind of a vicious circle, forcing yourself to fail and then going, “Well, you failed in the past so why try now?”
[Also a note that I do have a series, for middle-graders, that I have all five books written, but had a meltdown releasing them after book 3. It was getting too close to successfully closing a series, and I made it "fail." I also have the second book in the Alice/Zombies thing done--also forced myself to "fail" there. I keep trying to slate book 4 of the kids' series into the work schedule, and it keeps sliding out. Because of this one stupid fear. I have successfully written and completed an entire series for a client. It's not like I can't do it.]
What I really want is to not have to have conscious discipline. I want to be able to go, “Look at the new shiny” and have all the time in the world to pursue that. Is that what you were gonna do today, though? [...] WHEN you are inspired by the new thing THEN you can strip your life down to pursue it. And even so, doing journaling, meditating, and working out is only going to make you more effective. So don’t blow this off. You know you sort out a lot of shit this way. Your brain works better.