For the "losers".

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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sierramcconnell
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Re: For the "losers".

Post by sierramcconnell » February 3rd, 2011, 7:01 pm

Margo wrote:
sierramcconnell wrote:Where else is validation supposed to come from, if not from other people?
The only lasting sense of validation comes from inside yourself. It's a knowing that no one else can give you. You aren't dependent on someone else for it, so they can't withhold it.

There's an old saying. If that which you seek you do not find within yourself, you will never find it without.

(I had to go look it up, cuz it was driving me crazy. The quote is a loose rendition of one from Epictetus, the Greek stoic.)
Sort of like when my late friend (she was murdered by a drunk driver on Valentines Day a few years back) said I would never be loved by anyone if I couldn't first love myself. And I told her, "Then I'll never be loved, because I can never love myself."
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The blog died...but so did I...and now I'm alive again! OMG.

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Margo » February 3rd, 2011, 7:02 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:"Then I'll never be loved, because I can never love myself."
First order of business. THAT has to change.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Sommer Leigh » February 3rd, 2011, 9:42 pm

Margo wrote:
sierramcconnell wrote:"Then I'll never be loved, because I can never love myself."
First order of business. THAT has to change.
Yes yes yes yes yes.

Sierra, some of the things you said breaks my heart. I understand not understanding what you are supposed to do in this world and I understand frustration, sadness, self-loathing and emptiness. I don't know how better to say it except to just say it: You'll never find satisfaction or contentment out in the world unless you let yourself, and you're not letting yourself. I know it might not seem that way, but if your first response to anything is with a, "I can't do that, it hasn't happened yet, I have nothing going for me," you're the one getting in your own way. I don't mean this as an attack, just that there is no good way to say it. I know it because I've been there. Maybe not exactly in your place, but in my own similar place where nothing anyone said made me really hear what they were saying. It was easier to think it wasn't possible than think it was.

Becoming a successful author is time consuming, painful, and offers no guarantees. This is not the business to break into if you want to make money and become well know. I also don't think those things are going to make you feel better about yourself.

I'm not religious. I'm not even all that spiritual. I definitely fall into the belief that I make my own universe. Maybe you don't think that way, but I wonder if maybe it wouldn't help you a little to take on the challenge of creating a little bit of your own universe. You want acceptance, that's what you said. But everyone on this forum accepts you. They welcome you and talk to you and listen to what you have to say. You are recognizable here. Here isn't very big and we're not very important, but I think some of the best people I've had the pleasure to work with and think with and share with are right here in these little gray and orange forums. And they accept you or they wouldn't be showing up here to talk to you about you.

There are things that make you happy. There must be things that make you happy. Almost everything you listed as things you've tried to do - jewelry making, writing, doll painting - are creative things. They require a certain drive and certain passion for creating. People who aren't happy creating don't usually turn to creative arts for their jobs. Maybe think about why you do these things and what about them draws you to them over and over. These things that you try to do are not lucrative for most people who do them. The kinds of people who stick with these creative arts are not looking to make money, they do it for pleasure and I think maybe you probably find pleasure in them too. I also don't think you should give them up. I believe in serendipity, in the idea that things are meant to be. I do not, however, believe there is an opposite omen that tells you to stop. Stop because you choose to stop. If you decide to quit, accept responsibility for that decision. No one and nothing is making you do it.

Finally, I believe we are what we put out into the world. If you come to every idea, any piece of advice, every shared experience with an attitude of "No, not me, I can't, we're not the same, I've failed too many times" you're going to get that in return. People will respond with, "Ok, if you say so." Changing the way you respond to the world, to the way you see yourself in the world, and to the tone you take with the world is one of the absolute hardest changes to make. But I believe right into the very core of my soul that you have some control over your life just by how you approach it, how you respond to criticism, how you respond to obstacles, and how you celebrate triumph. My hope for you is that you read over some of the excellent responses posted before me, especially the ones that say, "This is not the right reason to quit" and instead of listing the reasons why you can't keep writing, I hope you consider just once, just for a moment, a few reasons why maybe you can even if it doesn't make you famous, or bring in money, or get you published.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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sierramcconnell
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Re: For the "losers".

Post by sierramcconnell » February 3rd, 2011, 11:00 pm

It all comes down to the fact that you all have intelligent, interesting things to say. I don't.

Also, I have to make it a point to do something with my life and prove that the existence forced upon me wasn't just because I'm supposed to be here suffering. (There's a long story to that but no one would believe it if I tried to explain it and no I can't write a story about that.) Suffice it to say I'm here and I can't leave, and if -as everyone says- God has a purpose for me, I would like it to be more than that. If not, then...that's a terribly depressing thing, isn't it? God creates a person just to railroad them.

It's like Job, only stretched out over thirty years, and He's very curious just how long He can make a person dance.

I have to find that one thing that only I can do. The one thing that makes me irreplaceable. And if I don't, that means I really was put here just to be a suffering chew toy. And so far...through all the things I've tried, there's always, always been someone much, much better than me. So the position still stands that the only reason I was created was to hurt, and I feel not unlike those people in the Sims that are made just to be blocked into four walls and tortured until they die.

I really thought that writing was the thing for me. But I went through a similar thing with all the other trades. I obsessed about it. Sat up day after day and night after night. Breathed it, ate it, and lived it. But it wasn't enough. It's never enough. It's proof that it's not the time you spend on something. You either have it or you don't.

I post things here and they always get reviews poorer than I expected. I posted things on the other forum and the same thing happened. So it's really a long time coming. I wanted to be a writer, but I don't have the skill. I'll never have it.

I'll go away now and stop posting here. It's just ridiculous anyway.
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The blog died...but so did I...and now I'm alive again! OMG.

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Dankrubis » February 3rd, 2011, 11:33 pm

Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it's my least favorite quality.
It doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.
But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you. Amazing things will happen.


Sorry. I keep seeing this thread and every time I do, Conan O'Brien's last Tonight Show keeps popping up in my head.

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Mira » February 4th, 2011, 1:05 am

Sierra, you're saying some things that make me feel very concerned about you. I think you may be struggling with some depression and it sounds like this is about more than just writing, but your sense of self-worth.

It's important to remember that very dark moods are just that - moods - they are not fact or reality - they are just the thoughts in our head. And thoughts in our head can get very tricky sometimes. You can't always take them at face value. That's something I've learned myself the hard way.

I honestly think this is beyond the scope of the forum to be able to help you work this out - but I do think it would be very important for you to talk to someone about this, someone who could help you unsort things. I hope it's okay if I reccommend that you consider talking to a professional, if you're not already? I think many people have gone through some very dark times, and with support, looked back from a much better place.

I'm concerned that you appear to be getting more upset as this thread continues, so I think I'll just stop now, but I do wish you well, and hope you'll think about my suggestion.
Last edited by Mira on February 4th, 2011, 1:29 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Nathan Bransford » February 4th, 2011, 1:06 am

There will always be someone better. We're all living in F. Scott Fitzgerald's world. If everyone worried about not being the best no one would have written a book after THE GREAT GATSBY.

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Mira » February 4th, 2011, 1:46 am

Nathan Bransford wrote:There will always be someone better. We're all living in F. Scott Fitzgerald's world. If everyone worried about not being the best no one would have written a book after THE GREAT GATSBY.
Good point. And I honestly don't think the goal is to be the best - I think the goal is to write something that is uniquely yours - no one else can write the book you write. No one else has your experiences, and sees things in quite the same way.

The books I truly love are not always the best written - they are the ones that spoke to me.

Quote for you:

"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." - Chinese Proverb

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by poptart » February 4th, 2011, 6:34 am

I'm coming late to this so apologies if I'm repeating anyone else. Sierra, you sound like you're putting too much store in other people's opinions. For what it's worth, judging by your stark honesty in this thread I'd say you at least have the courage to say what you really feel which is all too rare and completely necessary if you want to be a great writer. Don't let others' negativity stop you from being who you are. For the record it's not possible to be 'too truthful' or 'too honourable' or to 'care too much'. These are marvellous attributes, not failings! You could be coming on a little too strong at times, and if so you can alter that. The trouble with honesty is people often don't want to know the truth, whatever they say, and will resent you for it. But that's their problem, dear. If you can see the truth and think for yourself you are one in a million, believe me. The skill will come in time with practice if you stick with it. You might get rich and famous, you might not. But enjoy the journey, whatever the outcome.
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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Cookie » February 4th, 2011, 8:55 am

Sommer, Well, I couldn't have said it any better.

Sierra, we've all been there. Trust me. When I was 16 I wanted to die. Seriously. I was convinced that death was the only thing that would make the pain go away, and I am SO glad I was wrong. I have been used, abused, back-stabbed, hated, I'm in debt up to my eyeballs, and I don't make enough to pay my bills. However, I have also been loved, looked-up to, cherished, and I have an awesome job.
There will always be people that have more than you, who are better than you and there will always be people who don't like either you or your work. But there will also always be people that have less than you, are worse than you and people who love you AND your work. However bad you have it, there will always be people out there who have it worse. I too have had an extremely tough life, but I learned long ago to stop dwelling on the negative and focus only the positive. Trust me, I can find the bright side to any situation.
Do you think looking at the works of Michelangelo or Da Vinci have stopped me from painting? No, it just makes me want to be better.
Do you think that when John Lennon's teachers told him he wouldn't amount to anything that it deterred him? No. Did prostate cancer slow Lance Armstrong down? Did going deaf stop Beethoven from composing? No. Did getting rejected by publisher after publisher stop JK Rowling? No.
Don't stop writing. Even if it just for yourself. And stop trying to find a purpose in life. It will come on its on, and may not even be what you think or expect it to be. Focus on the things you love to do, no matter if you are good at them or not. Focus on your friends, your family, and most importantly YOU.

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by Margo » February 4th, 2011, 10:31 am

Mira wrote:It's important to remember that very dark moods are just that - moods - they are not fact or reality - they are just the thoughts in our head. And thoughts in our head can get very tricky sometimes. You can't always take them at face value. That's something I've learned myself the hard way.
I have to say, both as a therapy grad student and as someone who had been there, Mira is 1000% right about this. Your experience today may not be your experience tomorrow or next week or next month. I have been in dark places that I thought would last forever, places I knew I couldn't tolerate for much longer, and I'm not in those places today. I might be in a place like that six months from now, but I'll be okay because I know that moment doesn't last forever. Getting out of that moment, or at least having a break from it, can be as easy as sitting down for 15 minutes and writing down every little thing you are grateful for. When I did this, I included things like 'I still have my 15-year-old dog around' and 'there's going to be a sequel to my favorite movie coming out in 2 weeks' and 'there's a fresh jar of nutella in the cupboard' (and I loved nutella - can't have it anymore). It sounds so highly unlikely, but the truth is that I felt amazingly better after those fifteen minutes. Your perceptions and attitude make up a great deal of the world around you. Change those and you change your experience of the world.
Mira wrote:I honestly think this is beyond the scope of the forum to be able to help you work this out - but I do think it would be very important for you to talk to someone about this, someone who could help you unsort things. I hope it's okay if I reccommend that you consider talking to a professional, if you're not already? I think many people have gone through some very dark times, and with support, looked back from a much better place.
I concur with this 2000%. Well meaning people like those of us here at the forum can say nice, supportive things to you, but a professional is a whole 'nother story and can look at your specific situation, help you validate your feelings, and offer concrete ideas for getting out of this dark place.

See if your work insurance covers professional assistance. If not, you might be surprised how many many many professionals will lower their prices for clients who need to pay cash. Others might be found doing volunteer services.
Last edited by Margo on February 4th, 2011, 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: For the "losers".

Post by KatieT » February 4th, 2011, 4:17 pm

Sierra, you said, "I have to find that one thing that only I can do. The one thing that makes me irreplaceable. And if I don't, that means I really was put here just to be a suffering chew toy."

Maybe you're here to inspire and encourage others. Maybe you're here to show others who are going through some of the same things you are -and I'm positive there really are people who can relate- that there is still joy to be had in living a life well, despite trials and tribulations. That's why Job, in the end, was blessed four-fold by God: because even in his darkest hour, his faith held fast.

We can't give your life meaning, Sierra, and as well-meaning as most of us are, we are just anonymous people on the internet who cannot tell you what you want -or need- to hear.

If you don't want to write anymore, if you take no pleasure in doing it, don't. Forcing something isn't going to make you happy. That has to come from within, truly.

"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering." - Ben Okri

Be greater than your suffering, Sierra.

I hope you will seek the help you need to get through this stage in life. Don't be afraid to lean on someone you trust. I wish you well.
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it. - Anais Nin

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