Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Confidence, Determination, Patience and Self Belief

Life's tough when your confidence and self esteem have been stripped away from you. You feel like a nobody, someone who's soul has blackened and died, waiting for the moment when life will finally take away your earthly body.

My confidence was stripped away while I was at university and this unfortunate trend has continued until fairly recently. There were always more negatives than positives which made me question everything. At times, it felt as though I could do nothing right whether at work, home, or with my friends. Life was a monotonous cycle of wondering what the next disaster was going to be. Who would be the next person to chip away at my already fragile being? What would be the next event that would hammer a nail into the cracks of my carefully formed shell?

It's hard to accept compliments when everything you seem to do is wrong. You smile and brush them off, batting around comments such as, “Oh, it's nothing”. Or “Someone else could do better”. I did it with my writing.

I've had several books published so someone enjoys my work enough to put it out there. I've picked up awards. Peoples comments have been mostly positive.

Yet it was never enough to lift the darkness that surrounded me. Where there was once someone who ran her school's drama department and had absolutely no problem in being extrovert, now stood a person who wished only to hide in the shadows. I wanted to do things. Wanted to be inspired and create and go wherever my heart told me to go. But I was terrified. I was terrified of being uncovered as some kind of fraud. Terrified of letting myself be put in positions where I would be criticized even more. Terrified of opening up my heart and soul. I couldn't go there because the pain would be more than I could ever take. It was an agony I knew would drag me to the brink.

Things started to change in the summer of 2014. I'd just finished working on the piece that was given to Dave and handed it over to my proofreaders. My intentions were to send it to a publisher.

“Don't,” one of my readers said. “Turn it into a screenplay instead.”

I hadn't written a screenplay in ten years but I wasn't going to let that stop me. It took me six months to do before I sent it back to her. She loved it and made the suggestion that I talked about in Four Days, Three Flights, Two Concerts, and a Pumpkin.

So I did.

One of my problems is that I've always hated my writing style. I wanted my books to flow in a way that read like those books I immortalised. Instead I found myself writing what I considered to be a very simplistic style. And I loathed it. I desperately tried to change it but, when I did, I hated the results even more. The style just wasn't me and didn't fit with the stories I was telling. It took me until just a few months ago to realise that I was trying to force myself to be something I wasn't. I wasn't being true to myself nor was using the voice that I'd been given. Maybe I was writing in a particular style to make the messages I had in my heart more understandable?

One of the many gift journals I've received over the years.

Things started to change when I had that minor revelation. I started noticing peoples compliments and, rather than brushing them off, I thanked them. I also found the reviews from the original version of this screenplay and they made me realise that what I do, and how I write it, aren't as bad as I thought they were. In fact, they're far, far better. Over the past week or so, many of them have reduced me to tears.

I adore the premise; it rings all too poignant, foreshadowing a very possible chain of events that may become our reality one day.

Yes!!! Another fascinating story! This idea is very interesting, and I ALREADY love it.

You are building a powerful, vivid, scary world here and I am really interested in where you are going to take it. I am in for the ride! Let's do this! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this.

I am so proud of you! Honey, you are an intelligent woman who deserves to have her voice heard. Always remember that.

You were so courageous in your doing.

If you're one of the people whose words are listed here, thank you. Your kindness and generosity as well as your unwavering belief in me have slowly started to rebuild what was destroyed so many years ago. I hope that one day I'll be able to repay you and pay your love and kindness forward.

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