(My second IWSG post. Yay!)
I’m almost embarrassed to ask this question, for fear of exposing myself as a psychopath, but does anyone else suffer from an overwhelming compulsion to sabotage their own efforts, in writing or anything else that’s important to them?
I do. It’s like there’s a tiny monster in my head pretending to be my wee pal. Lets call him Bampot.
My lunch hour writing sessions have fast become the most productive of all my writing. Every time I go back to my desk, I’m brimming with a feeling of accomplishment.
So why, then, does little Bampot say to me in the mornings: “don’t bother taking your laptop to work with you today, you might drop and break it. You’ll just hurt your shoulder humphing it around anyway. You can freewrite at your desk…” and so on.
It’s not the first time Bampot has reared his ugly head. He fast appears when I want to do something creative with my life. When I was thirteen, my music teacher invited me to join the Strathclyde Arts Jazz Group. I was terrified, but went along anyway. And I was so glad I did. I’d be up there, doing my flute solo (yes, Jazz Flute, just call me Ron Burgundy), being part of this amazing musical creation. There’s nothing else like it, I tell ye.
So why, then, did Bampot convince me to “forget” to take my flute from the school’s music cupboard the night before our practise sessions? “You can still go and watch,” he’d say to me, “it just means you don’t have to play. Don’t put yourself under that pressure. You might mess up your solo and look like a fool.”
So I’d turn up empty handed, making my excuses. But my music teacher, Mr. Gourlay, he knew the score. He’d bring my flute with him when I “forgot”. I have a feeling he knew I was at it, and I’m grateful to him for that; for pushing me out of my comfort zone. It’s one the best things you can do for someone, in my opinion. By the time I made my way back home, I was high with adrenaline, so happy to have been part of the magic again. That creative buzz is quite addictive, you know. Shame I’d always try to “forget” my flute the next week, and the next…
I think everyone has a little Bampot in their head. One that tells you: don’t bother applying for that job, you won’t get it. Give your boyfriend one more chance. He treats you like shit, but he’s alright sometimes. He’s more than you deserve anyway. What’s the point in dieting? Would you rather eat rabbit food and be miserable for the rest of your life? Here, have a chip. You can’t give up smoking, you enjoy it and it’s good for your stress levels. You could get knocked down and killed by a bus tomorrow, for all you know. Life’s too short.
Don’t write that book. You don’t know what you’re doing. There are millions of books out there, all written better than yours. Look at these authors, spouting out three books a year and you’re still working on your first. Never mind being an author. It’s not what it used to be anyway; you have to be a PR mogul whilst you’re at it these days. It’s not what you write, it’s who’ll review your book. Just do yourself a favour and stick to reading books and writing the occasional journal. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain and time. How wonderful would it be not to be plagued by feelings of inadequacy anymore? Just give it up. You tried your best. It wasn’t meant to be.
Sometimes defying Bampot feels like you’re going against your natural instincts. But from what I’ve experienced in life so far, he only pops up when you’re on the cusp of improving yourself; at risk of becoming a better person. Don’t let him win. See him as a test. Really good things don’t come without a fight.
I shouldn’t let Bampot wear me down with my writing. I’ve refused to surrender to him for many things in my life. And it’s been more than worth it every time. He won’t get me this time either, I’ll make sure of it. And all my fellow #IWSG lovelies should fight against Bampot too!
How are you all getting on anyway? I’ve been away on a trip to Dublin, so it feels like forever since I immersed myself in the bloggy world. Do give me your gossip! I’ll come visit you when I can 🙂 x