I must apologize. When I began this journey, I agreed to write one column a month for the studio. Last month I failed to produce said column, and Rebecca was very gracious about it. This month, I missed the deadline again. Understandably, Rebecca was not so gracious, nor should she be. After all, I did volunteer to produce content; no one twisted my arm.
I could give a number of very legitimate reasons for the continued delay; work, family life, elder parents, but all of those reasons wouldn’t be the real one. That reason would be fear; the fear that I don’t have anything to contribute. For instance, this particular post has undergone twelve revisions while I grope around for something meaningful to say.
I’ve been re-reading my previous contributions. I do go on an awful lot for someone who has yet to produce a novel. Yes, I’ve been published in one anthology, and it looks like another short may be published “soonish,” but despite that (or, perhaps because of it), I feel distinctly like a huckster dispensing snake oil. I seemed to be full of advice (all untested) when I didn’t have a track record, but now that I have a couple of wins under my belt, I’m completely unsure of the value of anything I have to say.
There’s probably a name for this condition. My father calls it whining. I can’t say that he is incorrect, either. However, that realization doesn’t change the “wrongness” of the way all my advice feels now. I have enjoyed some success, albeit minor, and I have seen what genuine, continuing success looks like. It doesn’t look like me. At least, not yet.
I’ll be trying a new approach, where I don’t give so much advice and just relate my journey instead. That might sound indulgent and self-aggrandizing, but it’s the best I can come up with at the moment. I’m Type A enough to recognize I’ll be pontificating about the “right way” to do things fairly soon, despite my best intentions. I’m curious to see if this new approach holds any interest.
The hysterical thing about this — I was desperately afraid of being found out as a fraud, and that drove me into a self-fulling prophecy. Go figure.
|Paul’s first published short story, “The Winds,” is part of “Dirty Magick: Los Angeles” – an anthology exploring the crossroads between urban fantasy and noir; mean streets, dirty magic! Available for Kindle and Nook.|