Do you think this Blue Muse is pretty? Pretty poison is more like it.
Some of you have read this blog since the beginning, and though I’ve tried to keep my posts in the vein of positive affirmations, I’ve also let through a post or two written after I crashed with “post-critique syndrome.” As most writers do, I struggle with confidence in my writing. But until now, I’ve been able to quickly move past it and press on because I saw it coming or, at least, recognized it for what it was.
My recent experience has been more insidious. This time, it was not one big thing, but an accumulation of small things that turned my Muse blue. I was blind to the process and devastated when discouraging thoughts started flying furiously at me. I can’t write. I’ve reached my limit of ability. I shouldn’t even be blogging. And on and on. Every one of those thoughts presented itself as reasonable. It was time to face facts.
I reached out to a few writer friends who graciously shared their insights and encouragement. And then, three more things happened in as many days. One of my sons, who had no idea of my discouragement, has just completed writing a book of Wynton Marsalis trumpet solo transcriptions. He stopped by and talked about how tedious the work was and how, many times, he had to force himself not to quit. Then, one of my daughters-in-law mentioned that to get ahead in her field of financial accounting, it’s not necessarily how well-qualified you are, but whether or not you’re persistent. And finally, I picked up my copy of More magazine and read this quote from Mariska Hargitay: “The only reason I have the career I have is that I didn’t quit.”