So, first up I should start with some honesty, cause that’s what everyone covets, right? Honesty. Everyone wants it, few people get it, and when we’re given it more often than not it’s about as welcome as testing positive for gonorrhoea then being punched in the face. But what I’m going to be honest about right now is why I stopped writing.
I stopped writing 6 months ago because I let critique & snide remarks from other people (who aren’t writers or creatives, by the way; but I guess that’s irrelevant, and doesn’t void their opinion right?) dent my confidence. Strangers on the internet, people at parties, goblins on Twitter and worst of all my own self doubt; they all caused me to put down my (metaphorical) pen.
I mean there was also that constant lingering dread that is depression; living with that isn’t easy. But, it just sorta feels as though it’s part of daily life now? Like, walking a dog; albeit a really shit dog. One that doesn’t respond to your commands and just looks at you with a perpetual degree of disdain. Wait, that’s a cat. It’s like a walking a cat! Anyway.
Now I need to push myself to get back into it.
Not on the Priority List – that’s the title of the new blog posts I’ll be doing over the next few months, along side finishing two works of fiction I’ve had rotting in my laptop’s basement for the last three years. My posts on here will be a blend of savage commentary on current affairs, LGBTQ issues, mental health, annoying shit-posts I see on Twitter, politics, drag, general life issues & how I continually maintain my devastatingly mediocre existence (slide into my DMs if you want tips on being average).
I’ve always been as honest as I can about who I am when I write. I’ve always presented myself as messy, complicated, riddled with problems. I’m vocal about struggle, my flaws and the long list of things I hate about myself…but I’m honest because trying to imagine someone’s internal condition is incredibly hard.
Although I do my best to staple this confident, unbothered image to my skin, the truth is the comments, the jibes, the heartache, the scoffing about my writing…hell, the last 10 months, all hurt. A lot. That said, the blame also falls onto me for allowing myself to be dragged down by situations and people – even those who claim to love me.
As artists, whatever your creative field/fields, we require a thick skin and a strong backbone – otherwise we wouldn’t get anywhere. Our career would skid off the road, screech to a halt and in my case careen into a ravine. So, we have to press on, and that’s what I’m going to do.
It’s not so simple to flip the metaphorical middle finger to our lack of self confidence, and to anyone who doesn’t like, or hurts, us. But let’s be real for a moment: We’re teetering on the verge of World War 3, our country is being driven into the ground by a bumbling buffoon and somehow Justin Bieber still manages to curse the charts with his idiot anthems. So, really, being scared of rejection kind of pales in comparison in the grand scheme of things. It’ll be a struggle, but what’s new?
As artists our bag is sometimes a clanking pharmacy that will never satisfy; there may be nights when some of us need assistance from the alcoholic wheel of fortune (vodka, wine, beer, tequila) to get through. I get it, everyone needs a release valve; but the most important thing is you do get through and you keep on going, living, creating. You keep pushing yourself, and improving your art – even when you don’t want to.
A final serving of honesty, guys: This isn’t going to be some self help, motivational digital pamphlet. Currently my life is chaotic blend of misery, heartache and reeks of unfulfilled potential. Most of my friends don’t speak to me anyone, I’m disconnected from everyone and some days it seems the people I love the most have forgotten I exist unless they want something from me. I am so lost that every time I open Google maps it just shrugs. I don’t feel better, and my nerves are shredded at the thought of posting this – but I’m going to.
I’m teaching myself to be stronger and accept that sometimes life is just shit, and that there are days when you feel awful – whether that’s because of mental health or external factors, you just gotta survive it. But my point is, I’m forcing myself to do what I love. To write.
Maybe I’ll always be an underachieving loser in a job he hates, or a writer that needs to sleep on your sofa tonight. But I will keep clawing my way to the top of the artistic trash heap. And if others don’t support me, or have issues or harbour a grudge against me, then you can keep wasting your energy.
If you want to read my posts, and comments on whatever of the above topics I decide to whine about, then feel free to. If not, then, like, just don’t? Is there a gun to your head? Are you THAT bored? No. Nobody is forcing you read this. In 2020, don’t make it your mission to be a bitch, be a bitch on a mission.
For those who did read it, get a hobby (and thank you.)