Off Line

offline final pic

I once read a blog post where an intelligent writer said that you have to be consistent when blogging. Oh. Right, that was me. And here I am writing the first blog in months. I should take my own advice. But trying to stop myself falling into a state of depression meant that some aspects of my life had to be put on hold. I’m being honest here. This post is a little longer than my others.

So bear with me.

There are so many of us out there who have full time jobs, study, children, husbands, wives who demand not only our time but also a lot of emotional real estate. When it comes to my family I wouldn’t have it any other way. And there was my problem. Every day I struggled with finding a way to remain clear-headed and rational. I had somehow lured myself into thinking that I was never going to amount to anything. My dreams, it seemed, were floating away and I had no idea how to catch up with them.

Eight months of constant negative attitude directed at me from people who just didn’t get the fact that I’m was only there to help them was making me miserable. It wasn’t my fault that they let their sick refrigerator or washing machine break down over a period of weeks, before calling us to come fix it. The feeling that I wasn’t able to satisfy them seriously started making me feel like everything was my fault. I now know better. Thank goodness.

The feeling that I was useless crossed over into motherhood. I felt like I was letting my son down. I couldn’t protect him. Bullying just shouldn’t happen. We eventually sorted it out, but it took an emotional toll on both of us. What I didn’t realise is that in all of the bullying, my son was comfortable enough to tell me what was going on and how he was feeling. What I didn’t see is that I had shown him that I had his back; that I would support and defend his actions, even if he ever thought (as a last resort) that he needed to defend himself physically. When things like that happen and you’ve experienced it yourself as a child—well the flood gates do open. I realised that I had not had the same support. Sticks and stones and deal with it. I don’t ever remember my parents going to the school. They were still good parents who did their best.

Letting go of the past has been hard. But I’ve had to move forward. I once believed that doing my best was never good enough. Where does it get you? I had to hit a personal low to find out that I had a great support network with family and friends who believe in me. Now I had to believe in myself. That’s hard to do when you’re a mum. Everyone, no matter how many times you hear you have to look out for yourself, knows what it’s like to have others dependant on you, relying on you. You always forget about yourself because somehow you believe that they are more important. They are important.

But so am I.

So taking that step to making my family and myself a little more independent from each other (in a healthy way) was hard. Why? Because I had been taught from a very early age that mothers and fathers sacrifice their dreams and hopes so that their children can follow theirs. It’s a vicious cycle. One that I am conscientiously trying to break. It’s hard work trying to separate and dissolve something that’s been ingrained in your head for the last thirty odd years.

When it came to my writing, I had become my own worst enemy. It was funny. I respected the fact that I would be receiving rejections. I’ve had them before. I have my five minutes of response and it’s over with. But I suddenly realised that you can’t get a rejection or an acceptance when you haven’t sent anything out there. I would nearly finish a project, convince myself that it wasn’t any good and start something new.

I even convinced myself at one stage that the mentorship with the Australian Horror Writers Association was a fluke.

I am so glad that I found the courage to sit down, discuss how I was feeling with fellow writers who are also good friends. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way and it lifted the burden. Changing the way you see yourself is hard but when you recognise the positives and the steps forward, boy is it satisfying. The road ahead is scary but I’m sure not going to stop in the middle. I will still be a target of some poor unfortunate soul who thinks we should fix their appliances for free, but now it’s as simple as “Sorry I can’t help you.”

There have been break throughs. The first time I ever attempted a story under three hundred words won me a runner’s up prize of an all weekend pass to the Oz Horror Con 13. How cool was that! I’ve met some great writers who are supportive and encouraging. Their wealth of knowledge has been priceless. Yes I make mistakes. Everyone does. As long as you keep moving forward and doing the hard work, it will eventually pay off.

Now, I know I won that mentorship because of talent and lots of hard work. Just because one publication doesn’t want your novel, short story, poem, doesn’t mean that there’s no one else. It’s the waiting that tends to do my head in. Life will get in the way. I’m grateful that I did have that moment of weakness. It proved I wasn’t Wonder Woman. I had to stop being something that was beyond my reach, besides I only have two hands and one mind.

I’m back! Bwah ha ha ha ha.

I will keep you up to date more often on how I’m doing on current projects, recap and finish my little Workshopping posts, give you followers some new material and I’m learning to add photos and links.

I want all those fellow writers who are out there to know that I understand the frustrations of life. Share them with me, because until you get them out, you can’t move forward.

Blog you later,

EJ

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8 thoughts on “Off Line

  1. ddigman says:

    Terrible things, this…

    I mean as a mother you are outstanding, as a wife I can only guess but I think it fair to assume the best, if only because, as a friend, colleague and wordsmith you are without parallel.

    Terrible thing that you are not absolutely perfect absolutely all the time in absolutely every way in absolutely every thing…

    All things take practice – writing and self-confidence – and you are practicing both.

    It is an honour and a privilege to call you ‘colleague’.

    But it is an even greater honour and privilege to call you ‘friend’.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks Davidh for just being you. Soppy, I know, but how else can I say it? Actually, alot of different ways, otherwise I couldn’t call myself a writer. But that statement fit the best.

      • ddigman says:

        I’m glad you refrained from giving your thesaurus a workout. Only the most pitiable hack would consult Mr Roget and write emotive, empathetic, tenderhearted, impressible, touchy-feely, unctuous, soulful, gushing, effusive, mawkish, maudlin, Malcolm Turnbull, schmaltzy, and cutesy.

  2. ddigman says:

    PS: I love the photo!

  3. ddigman says:

    You couldn’t smash a computer screen?

    Are you one of those girlyman horror writers or what?

    • What can I say, other than, I love destroying things with words not physical abuse. I’m the type of woman, not girlyman, who feels bad if she falls over and puts a dint in the wall. Also I believe that nothing good will come out of me smashing a computer screen. That entire belief of what comes around, goes around generally stops me from attacking my appliances. So far they have been good to me, so I must share in that respect.

  4. Tamara says:

    Liz, that was an emotional and awesome blog. I’ve been contemplating entering competions but have felt my writing just isn’t good enough. Now I know it’s just that annoying little monster in my head trying to make me doubt myself. Thanks to your post I can knock that little monster out!

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