Oh no! I’m late! I feel like the white rabbit with his pocket-watch, rushing from one thing to another, and can only ask myself how I can be so busy and still so short in funds.
The short answer is that I’m busy with much work entailing only delayed rewards, and much on-spec work, like books I can’t sell until they are written, and currently a Kickstarter project for a new card game, Buzz.* Wearing my artist-hat, I put in many hours’ work creating the cards and readying them for print (and a download version), and will only be paid for that time if the Kickstarter succeeds. This is the first time I’ve tried running this sort of fund-raiser and I can tell you it’s raising more anxiety than funds.
The anxiety, like many unpleasant sensations, at least counts as fodder for the writer’s mill. It leads me to examine my underlying feelings: am I even worthy of success? Maybe all I deserve is to eke out my existence like a dog under the table at the feast of love everyone else in the world enjoys. Can I only be successful if enough people like me? Why don’t people like me?
I’m not claiming that these feelings are based on anything realistic – indeed, I’m warmed to the point of getting misty-eyed by how supportive some of my friends have been – that doesn’t mean the anxieties won’t go ahead and creep in, twisting the view to show off all the worst angles.
Why doesn’t everyone like me? Why am I not the sole and central focus of everyone’s lives? Didn’t it used to be that way once? (Obviously a first-born child). Don’t I deserve to be as celebrated as anyone else in the world (more than any Kardassian at least) or anyone who’s accomplished as much as I have? Why can’t all the authors be best-selling authors? (Again, no claims for logic or consistency here.)
Okay, having taken due note of my rich crop of anxieties, like a good writer, I can scramble into a position of some perspective. Hey, look at that: feelings of inferiority and superiority all mixed up together with helplessness, and fear, and longing, and an egocentricity capable of overlooking billions of others who have suffered and struggled, feared and longed throughout human history. Amazing really.
I can’t say gaining some perspective has solved any of my problems, but I do feel better armed to write believably about characters going through any similar circumstance – and hey, when I’m writing it, I can give it the happy ending I can never be sure of for myself.
* Fun for the whole family! Deets here: http://kck.st/1oF3yRs