It’s T-minus 1 day remaining on NaNoWriMo and I don’t even know where I stand. That is, other than knowing that I just didn’t do well at keeping up with the demands. As I wrote, right in the early stages of it I had to nearly abandon my project because my mind went the way of the dodo. It barely just recovered these last few days. Not in time to make any discernable difference.
I’ve always had a poor opinion of NaNoWriMo. It’s not the object of the month in general that I have that opinion for, but rather my inability to come through on it. When I join, it’s mostly a last minute decision after convincing myself that I wouldn’t do it. Then when I put no planning into, no prep work, I spin my tires.
While I am doing a sufficient job keeping up with the work on this site, my fiction writing is still suffering. Only this past week have I been starting to get back onto a regular writing pattern. I’ve finally replaced the gym with sitting and writing when I wake up, a goal that I had intended to do when I had stopped going to the gym in the first place. I am writing a little before I go to bed, even if it is only 50 words. While it is forward progress in getting myself out of writer’s block hell, it tells again of a failed attempt at this yearly writing torture session.
All in all, it got me thinking though. Why do I end up faltering whenever I start setting a goal to achieve? 1600 words a day is not an unattainable goal. I’ve kept up word counts higher than that with less time a day and for nearly a month. Why is it though when I set a challenge up that I somehow psyche myself out of it?
Long and short, I don’t believe that writer’s block is anything by an anxiety issue. There is a trigger that I pull when I get close to doing well that I pull to push that train off the tracks. Why? Do I have a fear of success? A little. A fear of failure? A lot. What is more prevalent though is that I am finding that I have a fear of being found out as a fraud. Yes. Indeed.
Interesting enough, I find that there are many who feel the same way. We undervalue our own opinion, our skills, and feel that at any moment someone will come to us and say that we’re wrong, we suck, or that we just aren’t good enough, that we are a fraud to whatever it is we are trying to do. Even Paul Mccartney admitted to feeling this way. Paul friggen Mccartney said that when he was interviewed by Chris Hardwick on Nerdist. What hope do I have?!
I’ve been working for some time now on accepting the fact that failure is a standard component of life. It will never go away. This fraud thing is a weird component of that to which I rarely if ever even considered. If you think about it, it is just a roundabout way of being a failure. Being called out as a fraud is lame though. Are we a failure just because we believe ourselves incapable of adequately performing a task to our own or someone else’s level of expectations? Am I a fraud because my path as a writer doesn’t match with someone’s idea of what path a writer should take? Nope. It’s a twisted self-inflicted way to support our own fear of failure. At least that is what I see in examining my own thoughts. I believe myself a fraud to justify the reasons I might fail. And because I believe myself a fraud, and that I’d fail because of it, I often find ways to make sure it proves right.
And that is messed up.
As I learn more about this, however, I find myself wanting to bash it down, to find a way to yell victor over my own inhibitions. It goes along with learning to become comfortable with failure. We’re all frauds as soon as we try to learn any task… because we are only learning. I want to be forever learning. To get better. Today a fraud; tomorrow a scholar. Maybe I can let go of this idea of my fraudulent existence to replace it with that urge to understand that I will never know it all or be the best, but dammit, I will die trying.