Your life is a story. You define it.
My son wants to take piano lessons. He does gymnastics. He plays soccer. He’s a self-directed little dude. I didn’t take piano at his age. It was instilled in me by people who were older and taller that playing piano wasn’t so manly and therefore to be avoided. Galactically stupid, I know, but there it is.
It seems to me everyone you meet wants to put you in a box. Are you a Canadian writer? A trade writer? Which genre are you in? Lots of people have questions, but they don’t all ask for benign reasons. For instance, it was explained to me as if it wasn’t rude that questions (from some cultures) about how much money you make aren’t meant to be rude. The person asking was just trying to measure my place in the universe so they could ascertain how much respect to give me. (Quicker answer: Give me all your respect, bitch!)
Recently someone asked me some questions. Had I been there and read that? Nope. In a douchey style I won’t forget, they lowered their estimation of my intelligence. It took all I had to hold back from explaining to them why their artificial standard was silly, their assumptions were off base and their requirements didn’t apply. In retrospect, I wondered why I was being so polite when they weren’t managing it. Some people think they’re being clever when their passive-aggression is thinly-veiled. Newsflash: lots of people are smarter than you. We see you for what you are, you smug prick.
So, back to you. Are you allowing others to define you or are you defining yourself? On New Year’s Eve, did you make resolutions that have fallen aside? You don’t have to wait till next January 1st to make promises to yourself and rededicate to your personal makeover project. You don’t have to wait till Sunday night to promise that monday morning you’ll really get serious about that diet.
You’re making yourself over every minute. You’re defining who you are now. Who will you be? Your choices determine that. You’re only a procrastinator when you procrastinate consistently. You’re only a loser if you stop trying.
You determine that. Not your parents or the well-meaning friends telling you to get a real job. You determine your worth by what you do. Go do something. Do what you really want to do.
And the constant critics? They define themselves as naysayers who tell you what you’re doing doesn’t count. Ignore them. Every successful novelist, director, musician, artist, architect (anybody!) will tell you that long after you succeed, the critics will still be there saying, “Nah, that doesn’t amount to much.” Or, more maddening, they’ll say, “I always knew you could do it! Your welcome for all my support!”
The people who really get you?
- Underacheivement and the All-or-Nothing Mindset (getrichslowly.org)
- Writers: Time for some controversy (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Procrastination and Morality (psychologytoday.com)
- Have I Hit A Writer’s Block? (pulkit.me)