Bad Poetry – Snapshots of Anxiety 2

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I recently dug up an old folder filled with scraps of paper and a dusty notebook that included some of the thoughts and some poetry from my earliest days of writing. As I poured over the old scribblings I remembered the time of my life that the had come from, a time when I was at my lowest, letting the darkness close in around.  I have since recognized how low I was during that time and been able to open up about my struggle with anxiety as I climbed up out of the pit.

What follows are many of thoughts and “poems” that I am calling Snapshots of Anxiety. They are each a look into my mindset during some of my greatest struggles and some are merely a single sentence. Many are just plain bad, but I thought they could provide a little insight to some out there, so here they come nonetheless.  I will try to follow each one with a bit more insight into the times and situations that triggered them, if I am able to recall the details. I would love to hear other veiwpoints on these and welcome comments and questions.

hopes-and-dreams

This snapshot came with a rare bit of optimism attached to it, but with contingencies. It was more or less directed at other dreamers and hopes for their success. I had convinced myself that any dreams of mine were only to be chased and never captured. I could not find a compelling reason why I would be able to achieve anything that I reached for. Why me? Why would I find success over anybody else? I was just a part of the masses and nothing more. This was the driving argument.

My dreams of writing had only just developed and seemed more of a fleeting thought but it kept returning and brought a compulsion to put my thoughts down. It became my therapy just as much as my desire but I still would not let myself believe that I could ever make anything out of the idea, I scribbled away nonetheless, I guess just hoping that some form of divine intervention would intercede on my behalf and bring me up in spite of myself.

The one positive idea that I did employ while scratching away at papers and waiting on miracles was that at least I was not wasting the minutes by staring at walls, I was doing something, even if I was convinced that it was all for not. This has been my greatest struggle; even if I allow myself to try diving into something that I have dreamed of, I can’t let go of the idea that I am not good enough, that I can never make it work.  The “Why me?” argument persists and continually breaks down hope.

It was several years later that I refocused and realized that the question had changed. “Why would I be able to find success?” became “Why not me?” Why not any of us? We are not just a part of the mass that inhabits this world, we are individuals in a crowd and each one of us is capable of standing out.  It may not always be in the way that we hoped but any of us can find success in many ways. It may just be that we are asking the wrong question.

Walking Through Quicksand – Goodreads Giveaway

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Goodreads is running a giveaway for 20 signed print editions of Walking Through Quicksand through February 24th.  Enter the giveaway here

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Bad Poetry – Snapshots of Anxiety

Standard

I recently dug up an old folder filled with scraps of paper and a dusty notebook that included some of the thoughts and some poetry from my earliest days of writing. As i poured over the old scribblings I remembered the time of my life that the had come from, a time when I was at my lowest, letting the darkness close in around.  I have since recognized my struggles from that time and been able to open up about my struggles with anxiety as I climbed up out of the pit.

What follows is the first of many thoughts and poems that I am calling Snapshots of Anxiety. They are each a look into my mindset during some of my greatest struggles and many merely a single sentence. Many are just plain bad, but I thought they could provide a little insight to some so here they are nonetheless.  I will try to follow each one with a bit more insight into the times and situations that triggered them if I am able to recall the details.

on-the-wall-tick-tock-tick-tock

I remember this one very well.  I was in an apartment that was shared with three others, one of whom was a cousin (we did have separate bedrooms), so it was not like I was isolated and alone during this time.  I had just returned to college after a failed business attempt and was lost in my life. I was somewhat lost before I started the business which was one motive for setting out on my own, but I think that I let that drive me too much and I didn’t properly prepare for the future and for the consequences.  After it failed I let all my past pain and regret flow in and quickly sunk into the dark places of the mind.

I was sitting in my room thinking about my failures when the ticking of the wall clock started to catch my attention and reminded me of all the time that I had wasted in trying to accomplish something.  Part of me seemed to have been searching for darkness so I only focused on what was lost not the fact that I had returned to school to further my education, or that I had checked off a career path that I now knew I did not want to follow. The only time that was really wasted was that which was spent reflecting on time that I thought was wasted. A simple change of perspective is night and day and there is always good to be found, although we may sometimes have to search harder than others.

Writerly Advice

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I have been writing for quite a few years now but I’m still new to this idea of making a go of it professionally.  Naturally, I tend to scour the internet in search of all the advice that I can get my hands on.  I’ve read everything from the big spills about how to build your email list to the simplest and basest of things such as to write what you know.  Both avenues can be considered correct and with advice there is no wrong answer, but neither are they universal -with the possible exception of something such as “you can’t write if you don’t make the time to sit down and write.”  However, there is bad advice.  Even if not necessarily wrong, it is bad -at least in my opinion.  The thing about bad advice is that it is just as plentiful as the good, and it doesn’t sound bad either.

The string of words that got me started on this rant was located while sleuthing through some online forums seeking the input of other indie writers that I could realistically apply to my own journey.  Instead, I found -based on the phrasing and general tone of the message- a bitter bunch of spittle typed out by someone who was soured due to their own lack of success.

The advice that they gave was, in short, to write what was selling and not bother with pouring out what was inside of you otherwise you would not be successful.  Now, from a business standpoint this might not look to be bad advice, but we are dealing with an art form.  And, while this could be a successful tactic, it cheapens the art, brings down the whole idea of writing, in the end costing both the readers and writers.  If someone has a passion that happens to fall in the subject that is selling, then great, there is a better chance that we can all benefit from a great book.  But forcing it, jamming yourself into something that you don’t necessarily care about, will be painful to the writer and often painful for the reader as well.  There are some writers that can pull this off, great writers that could be successful in any subject, but this advice was directed to the profession as a whole and, as we have all seen from Hollywood, this formula doesn’t produce the best products.

In closing, I hope that anyone who may stumble on this thread will realize that it is better to focus where you would actually like to focus, write what you know -which should be an ever-expanding realm, we can always know more so this idea is actually unlimited- but most importantly write what you are passionate about.

Writerly Advice

Standard

I have been writing for quite a few years now but im still new to this idea of making a go of it professionally.  Naturally, i tend to scour the internet in search of all the advice that i can get my hands on.  I’ve read everything from the big spills about how to build your email list to the simplest and basest of things such as to write what you know.  Both avenues can be considered correct and with advice there is no wrong answer, but neither are they universal -with the possible exception of something such as “you can’t write if you don’t make the time to sit down and write.”  However, there is bad advice.  Even if not necessarily wrong, it is bad -at least in my opinion.  The thing about bad advice is that it is just as plentiful as the good, and it doesn’t sound bad either.

The string of words that got me started on this rant was located while sleuthing through some online forums seeking the input of other indie writers that i could realistically apply to my own journey.  Instead, i found -based on the phrasing and general tone of the message- a bitter bunch of spittle typed out by someone who was soured due to their own lack of success.

The advice that they gave was, in short, to write what was selling and not bother with pouring out what was inside of you otherwise you would not be successful.  Now, from a business standpoint this might not look to be bad advice, but we are dealing with an art form.  And, while this could be a successful tactic, it cheapens the art, brings down the whole idea of writing, in the end costing both the readers and writers.  If someone has a passion that happens to fall in the subject that is selling, then great, there is a better chance that we can all benefit from a great book.  But forcing it, jamming yourself into something that you don’t necessarily care about, will be painful to the writer and often painful for the reader as well.  There are some writers that can pull this off, great writers that could be successful in any subject, but this advice was directed to the profession as a whole and, as we have all seen from Hollywood, this formula doesn’t produce the best products.

In closing, i hope that anyone who may stumble on this thread will realize that it is better to focus where you would actually like to focus, write what you know -which should be an ever-expanding realm, we can always know more so this idea is actually unlimited- but most importantly write what you are passionate about.