There are times when the task is so momentous that I consider giving up. It’s always when my progress frustrates me and my learning curve seems to have hit a plateau. When I feel like I’m failing to learn the same lesson over and over again and unfortunately, when I see good friends succeeding and sky-rocketing even though they deserve too.
It’s a slump I go through from time to time. Sometimes, it will last for a week and other times it will last for months. I get nervous and wonder, “How can I back out of this writing gig without looking like a fool? Without hearing people say, ‘I told you that you so’?” I’m telling you, it’s not a lot of fun to have the confidence level of a slug.
It’s something you don’t hear a lot of writers talk about. Sure, you hear their struggle to get published and to have people believe in them but mostly, they seem so confident in their own work. Where are all the stories of writers in their second or third edit thinking, “Am I wasting my life right now? Should I get a real career? If I was any good, wouldn’t this come naturally?”
I never seem to give up though. I’m competitive and stubborn (which is probably half of the problem). That’s why this is one of my favourite Osho Zen tarot cards:
Here’s a snippet about this card:
“Let’s face it, there is always going to be somebody who is more beautiful, more talented, stronger, more intelligent, or apparently happier than you are. And conversely, there will always be those who are less than you in all these ways. The way to find out who you are is not by comparing yourself to others, but by looking to see whether you are fulfilling your own potential in the best way you know how.”
It always calms me down and if you’re in a slump, I hope it help you as well.
(Yes, yes. I love my Osho Zen. I used to be one of those tie-dyed/cheesecloth wearing acting students that talked about the universe a lot. Bite me.)