day two: what have I gotten myself into? the double-edged sword of commitment

Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century
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They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.  What they don’t tell you is that the first week of forming this new habit is probably the hardest, shame on them people deserve a little warning!  One of my reasons for doing this post a day thing is because I plan on using it as a means to combat my depression.  The previous statement appears wonderful except that I almost used it as an excuse not to write today.I have taken antidepressants for several years now and up until relatively recently they have done their assigned job well, now however it appears they are falling short of the mark.  I started this blog with the intention of writing in it every day but have let entire months lapse without a single post on more than a few occasions.  I started this blog to be able to ride without people, namely my family, breathing down my neck all the time.  I am fortunate to have a family who supports my writing however I have come to realize that their support is often a double-edged sword. Let me rewind and explain a little more just in case there are newcomers who might get a bit confused.In my myriad of dust covered computer files I have a novel manuscript, it started out as a short story written for a high school English class which is now in the process of being fleshed out into a real book because several people who read the original story (teachers and classmates etc.) have assured me that if it were expanded into a book people would  definitely read it. My family thinks so too.  I think they actually believe that it could reach a spot on the New York Times best-seller list.  The problem with that kind of faith in that a lot of pressure comes with it.  My grandmother is almost 75 years old and she is afraid that she will die before the book is officially “in print”.  My father appears to see this as yet unpublished book as my salvation, my gateway to independence.I know my family means well but those two simple statements put a lot of pressure on a manuscript which is barely out of the proverbial diapers.Whenever anyone asks about the book I internally cringe because of course that will be hurt and disappointed to find out that all their well meant encouragement has succeeded in doing is causing a massive case of writer’s block.Yes, I write the story but I cannot control when the muse decides that she will descend and grace me with her presence.I only have so much control over when the story is published.  I feel myself panicking because I know it is unlikely that the book will be completely finished and published within the next year and a half.  If for some reason it does not get published before my grandmother dies I will feel as though I have completely failed her.  The feeling of panic does nothing to alleviate mental blocks, in fact it reinforces them.  What if the book doesn’t make as big of a “splash” in the proverbial pond as everyone hopes?  Will my father be disappointed in me?  I have heard that writers can be neurotic and now I believe it wholeheartedly.Am I the only person who sometimes sees the encouragement of family and friends as more of a monster lurking in my bedroom closet?


7 thoughts on “day two: what have I gotten myself into? the double-edged sword of commitment

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  1. Keep at the book. You will get there, I feel sure. I know the feeling of pressure. I am under pressure that if I fail in my current quest, I will have failed my family too. So I totally understand those feelings.

  2. Dilemma indeed. But as we say in our abode ..if you’re scared, say your scared. Perhaps you did in your post. Your peeps pushing, that muse absent.

    But hey, it’s your book..finished or not, best seller or bust. It’s your work. And work has consequence.

    Hey, have a conversation with that muse. Right here. Make a private page on this blog and dialogue with that muse. Ask he, she or it, where in the hell have they been? Tell ’em the deal and the pressures. Let that subconscious thingy dictate back to you. Write it down and go deeper into the colloquy.

    It’s obvious you can prose, Bluerose, so fiction up.

    Nice post
    Good Luck,

  3. I don’t tell my friends and family about what I’m writing until it’s completely finished because otherwise they’ll be constantly asking “Can I read it? When are you going to get it published?” I know they mean well, but the pressure is too much sometimes.

    Good post – and good luck to you with your writing! 🙂

  4. Good advice however I’ve noticed that when you been working on something for 7 1/2 years “no it’s not done yet” and “no, you cannot read it yet” tend to get ignored after a while. Especially when you live with your parents and all they have to do to read something is walk up behind you and read what you are typing. Unfortunately writing with a pen in a notebook is out of the question because my handwriting is so awful that oftentimes I cannot read a sentence that I just wrote.

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