Update (July 2020): Rereading this post made my heart hurt because if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know it sounds very similar to a post I’ve written before. Just a few days ago, I saw a post on Instagram by @theadhdgoodlife that made me cry because of how relatable it was. (Note: the post is no longer available, but the caption is quoted below.)
I learned about these people called *real* writers when I was a kid. Real writers read all the time. Real writers write everyday. Real writers publish *real* books. I wasn’t doing any of these things. . So I wasn’t a *real* writer. . In fact, I hadn’t consistently finished any writing pieces. I’d started about 4 blogs, none of which I ever kept up with. Writing projects and notebooks always got abandoned. It became so bad that my writing became my secret, because it couldn’t become another thing I told everyone I was starting but never finished. I couldn’t understand how if I loved something so much, why couldn’t I just do it. . There was a lot of shame attached to my writing after that, where once there had been freedom and joy. . This is why the journey to writing my ebook was truly a test in self compassion. Every day I wondered if this is the day where I’d lose interest, get too overwhelmed or slide deep into perfectionism allowing me opportunity to stop the project. My inner critic became relentless, telling me no one would even want to see it, it would never be good enough, that *real* writers are published authors. . My process for writing was one that went in cycles, with lots of stops and starts along the way. There were times I got stuck, had to restart, take a step back and do something different. There were times I got frustrated, overwhelmed and doubted everything I was doing. I talked myself out of all of it and back into it again. I asked for help, encouragement and support along the way. But mostly, I just tried to be kind with myself and OK in how I got things done. . But I got it done, and in the process realised that maybe I had allowed what it meant to be a *real* writer, keep me from discovering the kind of writer I wanted or *could* be. Like everything else in my life, I had tried to squeeze myself into a box that limited my possibilities and kept me from stepping outside expectations. . The thing is, all the writing (and reading), I’ve ever done and the processes I’ve used to get there weren’t wrong. They were just different, because they were mine. . They were *real* to me and always valid.
A post shared by Sandra ~ Writer & Podcaster (@theadhdgoodlife) on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:16pm PDT
The act of stopping and starting so often that you lose faith in your ability to keep up with what you’re passionate about really hit home for me. It is so heartbreaking and frustrating to deal with. The feeling that something is wrong with you because you can’t stay focused on something you care about no matter how hard you try makes it really hard to keep going.
The only difference now is that I know I have ADHD. So maybe this time will be different? Maybe with proper treatment and therapy, it won’t stop me from doing the things I love. I guess we’ll see.
Original Post (August 2018)