Time For A Self Evaluation
What am I doing wrong?
“Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. It enables you to keep growing.” — Lawrence Bossidy
My writing sucks!
I am troubled. I have always been an advocate of self-awareness and self-improvement, and I find myself desperately needing both.
We are our own keepers. Ultimately we are responsible for who we are, where we are in life, and how we feel about ourselves.
That is why I feel like an imposter.
Throughout my adult life, I have strived to become better, work harder, and be competent in whatever I do.
Sometimes I have failed, and I shudder from the mistakes I have made. If I let myself wallow in self-pity, I can feel it seeping into me, and I become a smaller person; my self-confidence leaks from me. I am sure if I looked, I would see a pool of it at my feet.
I avoid looking. I push away from that feeling.
Writing is terrifying. I am hesitant about every part of it. I write, then I edit, I read and re-read, and then do more editing. Sometimes I just let it sit there, and I walk away and add it to the growing list of incomplete stories.
I have had some minor success with a few of my stories, but I long for more. It is almost like when you were a child, and you want to be accepted by the popular kids; I want to be part of that crowd.
I want to be one of those writers, you know, the successful ones. I want to be a good writer.
A while ago I wrote something and submitted it to a publication on another site. The publication accepted the article, and the reviewer left a very encouraging comment.
So I wrote another article, and the publication did not accept it. Wait. What?
Then I submitted it to a different publication that also rejected it.
The abyss started to open.
I was demoralized but challenged. I did some editing, and I tried again. It happened again, that story was also rejected.
The abyss sucked me in and I tumbled into self-doubt.
It is not pleasant here; it is filled with the smell of fear, the odor of sweat, and the dampness of tears.
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — Henry Ford
Changing my perspective
I do not like rejection, none of us do, and I knew I had to find out what I was doing wrong.
It was time for some reflection.
The worst part is I have been losing my self-awareness. I have disregarded who I strive to be by expending my energy trying to fit in.
It is easy to lose track of one’s character, push away feelings that you may be ignoring, and not see the shift in your thinking — avoiding your errors in judgment.
My emotions have been continuously in flux, my thoughts helter-skelter, and I have ignored all of it.
I have been riding that wave, floating, and at the end of the day cannot wait to go to bed so I can close my eyes and forget, desperate for sleep and escape.
Thankfully I did not surrender and slide entirely into the abyss.
It has been painful, but I began to realize the error of my ways.
To be successful, you have to be authentic.
Ah, there it is.
You cannot have it if your writing is out of sync, and it sounds forced.
I have been trying too hard, and there was no rhythm to the words; they did not flow. Reading the rejected articles, I could recognize that the words were stilted and did not have any depth. The was no substance, and they did not resonate.
The headlines did not work. They might be good headlines, but they did not fit with the content. They felt disjointed.
I was trying to fit them together, and they were not compatible.
The articles were a jumbled mess. Not a total miss, but I understand why they were not accepted.
When I compare them to the articles I have published in the past that do well, I can recognize the difference.
Those articles were written from a different part of me if that makes sense. There were more of my feelings and emotions woven into the words.
When I started writing the rejected articles, I had a concept that resonated with me, but it did not feel right when I put it on paper. So I attempted to rearrange words, add and delete, and reread. That is when I would usually walk away and add it to the stack of unfinished stories.
This time I ignored my inner voice and submitted them to a publication.
Error. I should have reconsidered, but I was irritated, not with the publication, but with myself.
I did not recognize that I was trying too hard and trying to fit into a preconceived mould and that it did not work.
Everyone stumbles at times. We face failure, and this felt like a failure to me.
But remember this, inside each failure is a lesson to be learned and an opportunity for growth.
We have to suck it up, tamp down our ego, and realize no one is perfect.
Look at what you consider to be a failure and pick it apart. You will find your answer, and you will be better for it, a better, more confident writer.
It is time for me to relax and try again.
That is what I have realized, and I understand that I need to keep writing. I may not become a great writer and never be one of those writers; you know the ones. That is okay; I do not have to fit into that group. I want to become better.
Becoming a better writer will take a substantial amount of time, and I realize that, yes, there will be other rejected articles, but I cannot give up.
For me, it is all about the challenge, but more importantly, the growth.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. but I can’t accept not trying again.” Michael Jordan
About the author
Writing about the things that interest or intrigue me, what I love and what stirs my emotions.
You can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Medium with more to follow as I start a blog and expand my horizons.