Growing up sucks. Though there’s a great many things I don’t want back from my childhood (scrunchies, side-ponytails, school lunches, windshield wiper glasses), there are some compromises I’ve made since then I wish could have gone down a little differently.
When you’re a kid, you really, truly believe you’re special. Yes, I know this sounds completely hokey. But I remember very vividly, sometime about the age of eight or so, thinking to myself: “I am special.” And Special had none of the connotation you might be thinking (or are pretending you aren’t thinking… yeah, I bet she’s special..). Special was akin to magic. Purposeful. Important. Worthwhile. Unique!
Then, you grow up. You go to Junior High and are trampled in the halls. Your classmates start taking drugs, and you get the nagging feeling that… I’m not special. I’m downright odd. I don’t fit in! This is terrible! What am I doing here?! Someone LET ME OUT!
Uh, I mean. That’s normal, right?
Well, before the horror of high school, I held on to that feeling of specialness. I reveled it in, and it made me happy. Not haughty, just… well, a bit like no matter where I went, the sun was shining, yeah?
When you grow up, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed by everything from gas prices to politics to the human condition to the fact that your neighbor brings their dog all the way to the poop hut and then lets the dog crap on the ground literally inches away from an appropriate dumping spot AND plastic bags!
And this is not good for the creative process. Like today. I can’t tell you what bee is in my bonnet, but it’s enough that I opened up Scrivener, looked at the pages, and just wanted to bash my head on the keyboard. 14 chapters of an original 30 edited, and I’m still nowhere near satisfied. If it’s not good enough for me, will it be good enough for anyone? Am I being too hard on myself?
I think this is a little more angsty sounding than I initially intended it to be. But the writing process, as any writer knows, is work. It’s even more work, when you have to squeeze it in every chance you get. And who knows if the muse will be with you? My muse, whom I lovingly named Aelfric in college (he’s an Anglo-Saxon, for some odd reason) is fickle and, I suspect, a drunk.
That said, one should never give up. I like to visit George R. R. Martin’s not-a-blog on occasion because, well, he’s successful, but he still gets frustrated.
Maybe we’re still special, just… not the way we once imagined.