Left-out and Useless

I had a really good day yesterday, got to hang out with M-i-L and The Cult before the Boxing Day Dinner, not as much fun as helping to prep the food but M-i-L has that down these days. I discovered I’ve finally got the proportions right to make the cranberry liqueur the way she likes it.

It was fun hanging out with The cult which I rarely get to do these days. It was good to nom down food which was awesome and hang out with old friends. I seem to be getting to know Lentil a whole lot better which is nice as I like knowing my old lovers’ lovers. There was kareoke whilst Weasel and others boardgamed in the other room. There was opening presents under the Christmas Tree (and what a tree!) There was even film watching with FJ and I certainly don’t see enough of him.

Then there was the usual kickback this morning when I had a work based nightmare/sex dream…You could tell it was a nightmare as “I had to leave work early to have sex with my boyfriend in a really dodgy way and also with several of the people I was socialising with over the course of the last week” didn’t cut it as an excuse.
I’m a bit disturbed by how much work impacts upon my psyche. Living in Japan was one of the happiest times of my life because I had a stable and well paid job, paid my rent on my own little flat and had my life and the rythmns of it pretty sorted. If I could have persuaded my brain that last year writing was my job then I’d probably have been happier (however hormonal crap is probably not easily overcome by positive psyche messages), I couldn’t persuade myself that following my dream was worthwhile because there were no obvious results. Every single writing competition I entered, I didn’t place in. According to every Writers and Artists Yearbook I’ve read (and that’s a lot) has said that without some sort of reputation behind you there’s little point in approaching an agent and certainly never approach a publisher.

It didn’t work. I’m in poetry anthologies and I sure as hell don’t want to be a poet. I have no recognition, LitFest aren’t interested in what I write nor is any bugger else. So, when I got around to admitting that Aunty Iris and Cornish Bloke had the right idea all along, ie. do the internet thing, which Writers and Artists have been telling me is the wrong idea for years. I don’t have the money to keep doing it 24/7 and so I progressed from my part-time cleaning job to a full-time HR job.
Psychologically I now have a job which pays it’s way. I feel much better. But then I got my first ever negative review.

I’ve never actually had a proper negative review before. There were some issues at the start of the social services job but that was mainly personality clashes rather than actual things done wrong. Normally in a job I’m the only one with a bachelors and thus I’m more organised and efficient than most of the others there.
Guess what: in a job where I’m not the only graduate I’m significantly slower than everyone else there. Oh.

Then the impact on my psyche, with the cleaning job I could see what I was doing, set my own goals and achieve them (and write), with this job I’m told I’m failing so despite the paycheque I don’t feel so great and I don’t have the time to write. Aunty Iris and CB are achieveing their dreams and I feel like I sold mine out because I need to be able to contribute to a morgage.

I should note that I’m getting more and more of my friends telling me I’ve been doing it wrong since I changed to having a wordpress site and putting stuff up daily (I am but I’ve fucked over the settings which is why they aren’t working properly). This is another thing bringing me down as I know I got it wrong, I’m changing tack but it’s going to take a while ok? Please stop pointing out that I was wrong – I KNOW!
It doesn’t really help when I start thinking that maybe there’s a reason I didn’t place in those competitions but if I start thinking that I’m not actually good enough that’s a whole other hole of misery which I’m not in any position to deal with.

Great, I screwed up in a way that I never wanted to whilst trying to get the other thing. Today I feel like a failure after yesterday curling up by the fire with FJ and M-i-L and the Jellicle and Weasel and everybody. I feel like a fraud who’s done the traditional hitting thirty after having totally fucked up with all the things I was aiming for. Still no book and looking less and less likely to get it done.

3 thoughts on “Left-out and Useless

  1. I don’t think taking on a job is selling out. At all. It may take a while to adjust to new routines – to get used to pushing yourself in a new job environment, to finding time to write when you’re much busier – but it’ll settle down, and relieve the financial pressure in the meantime.

    Nor do I think you were ‘wrong’ to try and publish through a more traditional route. It’s probably where I’ll start. It didn’t work out in this environment and so you’re adapting and changing and progressing. That’s not a failure, that’s an accomplishment.

    Mostly this entry makes me want to give you a hug, and to say that there’s not a single writer I know (published or unpublished) who doesn’t have doubts about this stuff sometimes. That’s not to belittle it, but more to say you’re in good company, if that makes sense?

    I was also glad to have chats and such, and it was a good evening at the Cult house. đŸ™‚

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