advice

It’s Been A Dream In The Making for 32 Years…Stop Being So Hard On Yourself

I wrote a fucking book. I wrote a book AND I published a book, on my own without anyone’s help, and while it might have been a “better” book if I’d had it edited, it was important to me to release it the way I wanted to, without anyone else chiming in about it.

God Damnit.

I fucking did it.

When I was five years old, I had a dream that one day I was sitting out side of a publishing house, holding a copy of my “journal” that had been freshly printed on a printing press.

I woke up and the first thing I said was “I hope I have an interesting life” then I told my mother that I was going to be a writer when I grew up. I will never forget this. It’s one of those things that you just remember forever.

I have always known that I was going to be a writer, I just didn’t know how I was going to get there. When I think about all of the blogs that I did prior to this one, I realize they were practice. I was getting used to the idea of sharing more of myself with the world.

There has always been some kind of incarnation of Loud Mouth Brown Girl, but it took me a very long time to get “here”, to this place where I was ready to be as open and raw as I have been.

I’ve seen a lot of posts in my writer’s group about women being angry with themselves for being afraid to get writing, to start that journey and I don’t understand why.

As far as I am concerned, you become a writer when you have something to say and you start sharing what you have to say with the world, or even with just yourself.

You become a writer, when you decide that it’s time to sit down and start writing, and not one moment before.

I know that the reason I didn’t start LMBG before was because it just wasn’t time. I wasn’t ready to be as open and raw as I have been over the last two years. I certainly wasn’t ready to start being the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, even though I always knew that I would be.

I used to get so frustrated with myself because I was miserably trying to do things the way that other people said that I should do them. No matter what I did, someone had something to say about how it wasn’t good enough because of a myriad of reasons that largely had more to do with their own bias than it ever did with me.

Now that it is time, I am finding that the things that I am saying are things that other people resonate with and that helps to remind me that I am on the right page.

It’s frustrating when you can’t write, when you can’t find time or words to say the things that you want to say. Not being able to write, (I will die on this hill) is like an un-achieved masturbatory orgasm. It’s frustrating as hell and makes you feel like a complete and total failure, and that’s because you know that you are meant to write. You know that you are destined to be a writer, and yet you can’t find your groove.

A friend of mine named Rachel McCloud wrote this poem that almost always helps me when I can’t find my writing grove. It goes “something” like this, but I only remember the first two lines so I’m making the rest up as I go.

Dearest Calliope,

My pen will not move, I cannot find my groove. Help me find the place of peace, to say what needs to be said in my time and in my way. Remove all obstacles and set me free from chains that bind, body soul and mind. By the power of three by three, so mote it be.

Or something, either way it always helps when I take a moment to pray to Calliope, who if I remember correctly (I had to check) is ta Muse.

I also spend a great deal of time praying to and talking with Ganesha, who is the God of creativity. Vishnu, Shiva and Hera also come to mind when I am thinking of creativity and where the wisdom I need to share my thoughts comes from.

It doesn’t sound strange to us, because we’re artists, but some people get uncomfortable with the idea of praying for inspiration. That’s largely because they don’t understand how good it feels to create something that other people will see and resonate with.

When I show gratitude to the Ancients by lighting a candle or a stick of incense, I feel more connected to the higher powers that made me what I am, and created a writer out of the ashes of a victim of abuse.

I genuinely do not worry about Writers or Authors who are more popular than I am, or who have made more money than I am, because I resonate with the fact that many of them have been working much longer at this career than I have.

In comparison to some of my sister writer companions, I am a baby in this industry. Still learning the ropes, still figuring out where my voice fits and still deciding which tables that I want to be a part of.

Being a writer is something that you either either destined to be, or not. I mean anyone can be an Author, but to be a Writer? Capital W? That is a life long calling.

No matter what you do in your future endeavors, writing will always be where you started and probably be where you end up, because life is filled with full circle moments like that.

I don’t worry about what other people might think of my writing, (obviously), I worry about whether or not “I” as an individual am proud of the content that I am churning out.

It is my job to inspire other people, and I know that if I am not inspiring myself there is no way that I am inspiring other people.

The thing is, even when I am not feeling inspired I know that I have to write something every single day. Even if it gets deleted, and it does rather often, I am still focusing on learning how I can do better the next time.

Some of my posts read as if I am angry when I wrote them, and that’s because I a genuinely angry when I am writing. This one is calm and filled with the serene idea that anyone who wants to be a writer, absolutely can be a writer, as long as they are willing to do the work to get where they want to go with their future career.

That means putting up with the drama that comes with being a writer, and the one thing you will learn is that there is plenty of that.

Before you write your first book you’ll think, “I can’t do this,” “I’m not good enough” “I don’t have the talent,” “I’m unworthy.” Every Writer On The Planet believes this. Hunter S. Thompson made a career out of being a neurotic lunatic because he was so inside his own fucking head.

He was and continues to be one of the most famous Writer’s on the planet.

Here’s a secret that no one whose written a book will ever deny, you’d think writing your second book is as easy as writing your first book, because you’ve already done it and you know the format now. You know how to write the fucking thing, because you’ve already learned what doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, what doesn’t work for the first book, might absolutely work for the next one, or it might all be complete shit and you’ll be a one hit wonder who only sold eighteen copies because you really do suck.

Welcome to the art of being a writer. It is the one craft that will absolutely make you act like a fucking crazy person, until you’re finished saying all the things you need to say, which you’ll never actually do because you’re a fucking writer.

The good news however, is that you are not alone. Millions of people who want to be creative artists go through this every single day. Everyone in the world who decides they want to put themselves out there on a public stage, no matter how big or how small, worries about whether or not their art will be accepted. Yes, even Beyonce and Rihanna.

Which is probably why Rihanna hasn’t released a fucking single in ten million years, not that I am complaining or anything.

We all go through it, so we all understand the trauma that comes with being a writer. The first few minutes/weeks/hours/months after producing a piece of writing is the hardest, because that’s when it’s new and fresh, still being consumed by the audience.

That’s when you really start to wonder “am I crazy or was that not as good as I thought?” The good news is you’re probably crazy, you are after all, a writer.

The really good news however is that it’s not your fault when people don’t respond. Largely, people are at their core are consumers, and they consume as much content as they can get their hands on, often forgetting to show their gratitude for the content they take in by leaving a message of hope.

That hurts, it stings when people don’t respond to your writing, but it’s not worth giving up over. If you want to be a truly great writer, you will do whats outside of your comfort zone.

If you didn’t enjoy being afraid, you wouldn’t be a writer. I write blog posts about self help and self love because that’s what I am comfortable with, but it’s not my favorite kind of writing. My absolute favorite kind of writing is dark fiction, which is why I am working on a fictional blog.

I am writing the fictional blog, purely so that I can learn to write from the character’s point of view, so that I can test the waters of the story I want to tell, by getting to know the characters as individuals.

It’s hard work because I don’t always feel like getting into the minds of the characters, but when the story begins to unfold I start to see possibilities and challenges that I want to test out and work with. Not everything I write makes it onto the blog, but what does I promise you will be in a movie one day.

Or at the very least a movie of my own making so that I can say I did it. That’s the core of the desire of writing. I write so that I can say I did. So that I can keep a track record of how far I have come in the last three years, which is further then I’ve come in the thirty-two years before this.

Be proud of who you are as a writer, of the tear filled hours that you have put in to get where you are in this moment and remember that just because someone is further ahead then you, it doesn’t mean they are better than you. It may just mean that they have worked longer than you, and have taken a different path then you did.

This doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you the person you need to be, so you can tell the world what you see, in ways only you can describe it.

Sending all my love to the future writer’s out there

Devon J Hall

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