I have been wrangling with the opening of my new story. The first paragraph languishes at the top of my computer screen, summoning just enough energy to mock me but otherwise managing to be completely useless.
I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal, having had a violent experience at the age of nine. I will make this clear at once because I have noticed that if things seep out slowly through a book the reader is apt to feel let down or tricked in some way when he eventually gets the point.
I am not, I am glad to say, mad, and there is so far as I know no hereditary madness in my family. The thing that sets me apart from other girls of my age — which is to say thirteen — is that when I was nine a man came to our school — it was a private kindergarten sort of school where you could go from five upwards but most girls left when they were eleven unless they were really stupendously dumb — to talk to us about becoming writers.
My second thought after “Wow” was . . . “Man, I suck.”
And then all the writing/publishing/being-a-deeply-flawed-human ANGST washed over me, etc., etc.
Perhaps you know the drill.
In an effort to stop the flailing, I am going to make a list of inspiring/soothing blog pages.
1. This blog post from author Mette Harrison about “Failure.”
“It’s really true that you can look at your life as a series of failures or a series of successes. The same life, the same facts, just turned different ways. I think that it’s also true that failing is just a way of giving yourself another chance for success.”
2. “On a long run, on a long run,” from Will Wheaton.
“I can stop being so hard on myself, and I can stop judging myself, and I can stop holding myself up to standards that are so high, even the people I’m comparing myself to every day would have a hard time reaching them.”
3. “This is Not the End; It’s the Middle,” from dear friend Saundra Mitchell.
“I’m still working on a new book. I think it’s a worthy one. It won’t shut up and leave me alone. So can’t stop. I won’t stop. I’m not done.”
4. And here’s an old favorite: 12 Things Happy People Do Differently.
5. Also, baby animals!
So how about you? Any “go-to” websites/blogs/images/what-have-you to recommend for one who is feeling deflated and angsty? I’d love to see links in the comments! Perhaps I could make a “Masterlist of Anti-gloom.”
In the meantime, don’t be so hard on yourself, okay? And have a great weekend!