Those Bloody Crises of Confidence Part 1

You may have sensed it in my writing of late, but I’m going through a bit of a crisis of confidence at the moment. I’ve tried to buoy myself up by trawling through all the memes on my Inspirational Shit board on Pinterest and drinking more wine than usual, but any writer will tell you that the rejection of your manuscript – no matter how well you prepare yourself for it – is a very personal rejection, worse even, than when your child is the only kid in the class not to get invited to a party.

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Because I have nurtured this, my third child. I have sacrificed great chunks of life (that I probably should have spent with my own children) to get this baby out into the world. Indeed, I have probably been a better parent to my manuscript than to either of my own children. And I will shoot the next person that reminds me of JK Rowling’s sixteen rejections before Harry Potter was published.

 

And while I am still not ready to give up on it, sadly there are only so many hours in each day to continue editing and re-editing and, (as the old man reminded me so supportively the other day), these last fanatical strokes of the paintbrush of a scorned wannabe writer, might prove to be its final undoing, aiding my manuscript’s journey to its final permanent residence in the reject piles of Sydney’s publishing houses.

 

I assume that at some point you have to ask the question – is it good enough? – and if you can be completely honest and listen to your instinct screaming no, you begin the grieving process.

 

I’m not quite there yet.

 

However, inevitably, there is pressure from a certain department of the house to earn some money now that everyone has accepted that I haven’t written the next Fifty Shades – and rightfully so because wine and take-outs cost money. And honestly, what kind of feminist would I be if I expected to sit in my home office all week, being creative?

 

A bloody happy one, actually.

 

The problem with rejection is that a) it’s a fucking lie that it gets any easier and b) it seeps into every other aspect of your life. One day you’re skipping merrily through hot sand on the beach, the sun on your face, and the next, you’re a loser. Which means my head isn’t exactly in the right place to search for paid work at the moment. I’ll go so far as to say,  if I’m honest I’m feeling kind of lost at the prospect of this latest career crossroads, which feels much closer to the choice between the eighteen fucking lanes leading to the Harbor Bridge than a simple right or left turn. And I just know that I’ll end up in the wrong fucking lane.

 

Finding motivation gets harder each day because I know I’m running out of time and writing is something that can’t be rushed. That voice that used to get me out of bed, full of excitement, and tell me to keep going – that I CAN DO IT – sounds hollow now. I hate people who get published. Some days it is physically painful to listen to other people’s stories of success when I have nothing to show for my hard work.

 

And then the sun rises on another day and along comes Jacinda Ardern on my computer screen, modeling her feathered Kahu huru huru cloak, with her husband on her arm. And I look at her and I think, HOW FRICKIN AWESOME is this woman in the sort of dress-up that is way more suited to a GOT set than meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace. How bloody inspiring is it to see a young, female world leader, so proudly representing her culture, her politics, and her impending motherhood, whilst slaying the toxic gender roles of the establishment with one swish of that cape.

 

I want to be her. I want to be able to stand up like her in front of all my naysayers with that self-belief and be able to say that I did it.

 

And I looked really closely at those photos of her in the media and I did wonder if there are some mornings that Jacinda gets up, looks in the mirror and feels any doubt. Knowing that her (and more specifically her bump), would be under the spotlight, I wonder if that night she asked Tim as she got ready if he thought her bum looked too big in that Maori cape or if she looked like a bit of a dick. Because let’s be honest, not many women can work a shit-brown dress and a cape of feathers whilst heavily pregnant.

 

But I’m guessing that her inner voice wasn’t screaming negative thoughts at her. I’m thinking that the ghosts of those native New Zealand birds on her back were egging (sorry!) her on.

 

‘Go bitch! You show that Commonwealth Queenie who you are,’ they were screeching – because birds in this part of the world don’t tweet or twitter.

 

Well…whatever was going through her head that evening, she wore those dead birds like a boss, with no sign of any self-doubt.

 

And more importantly, I need that cape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “Those Bloody Crises of Confidence Part 1

  1. I know you haven’t written this post just to get some positive feedback but I’m gonna give you some anyway. I think you’re fabulous,you make me laugh all the time and I feel your pain too. Being at a crossroads is hell on earth without a map to follow and it seems to take forever to navigate your way out of. Good luck,keep going and please keep writing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Claire. Actually, it’s the hardest thing to feel a failure but I always want to be genuine in this blog. Just a bit jaded from reinventing myself, but I won’t stop writing as it keeps the demons at bay. x

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  2. Keep writing, I’ve had 3 agents pick up mine and have a serious look and 12 that haven’t. It was recommended I send mine to the U.K. It is hard just don’t listen to those negative voices in your head.

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  3. Hey! I read you & appreciate you (you’ve helped me). There are publishers in other countries (I’m in California ~ that’s sort of a country). Buck up, center yourself (we still say stuff like that in Northern California) and carry on~ you are a wonderful WRITER!~ Cindy Mann

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My ‘baby’ sits on my laptop and I am beginning to think it will never see the light of day. I start to feel anxious if I even start to think of looking at it again. I honestly have no idea if it is any good. I’ve lost the ability to judge. It is like losing your sense of smell and spending all your time wondering if the room you are in is filled with gas fumes. However reading this post of yours today has made me think ‘come on just read the bloody thing’ and so tonight I am going to pour myself a drink, open up some biscuits and give it a go. And if I can do that you can do ANYTHING. Good luck.

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    1. It’s terrifying, isn’t it? I haven’t looked at my manuscript since I wrote that post, but I’m ready now…if I can find the time. Stay positive – your comment has helped me.

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