Who do I think I am? An expert?

Hi, guys!

I’m going to get the little accountability portion of this blog out of the way quickly today. I approved final proofs for The Gem of Meruna, making it officially available for pre-order, and designed some book swag for the re-release.

I also made quite a bit of progress toward finishing the 3rd person to 1st person conversion of my post-apocalyptic romance novel, and sufficiently pumped myself up for the next story I’ll be working on. (Thank you playlist made specifically for that story…)

Now…

I had a blog planned for today, and I intended to think through all the avenues I needed to cover in the blog while I was at work.

But now, this blog feels more important than the one I was going to do. (I’ll just do the other one next week.)

My brain has been on some next level anxiety this past week, concocting Truman Show level conspiracy shit. Basically, I’ve been pushing myself lately, and my brain is getting angry.

It’s been picking apart positive feedback from beta readers and twisting good reviews. Certain words, though clearly meant in a positive way, have been stripped of their context and twisted. My brain’s been spiraling.

Imposter syndrome has been saying, “This word? You think that’s good? No, no. This, this terrible, negative other meaning that word has (because English is terrible and words mean many things out of context)…this is what they really meant.”

Anxiety has also been telling me that all my various friends have their own secret group messages created for moments when I’m around, and whenever I do something they don’t like (read: exist near them, physically or in various virtual functions), they venture into those group messages, and say shit like, “Is she fucking serious with this shit? Why is she even here?”

And rationally, I know that’s not the case.

People are far more upfront than anxiety gives them credit for. Sure, duplicitous people exist, but I don’t make a habit of associating with them.

People are also not likely to willingly subject themselves to the company of someone they don’t like just for the sake of making a joke. Unless they’re a stand-up comic. Then it’s material for their job.

But I don’t know anyone who does stand-up.

Rationally, I know that this is just what anxiety and my occasional bouts of depression do to a person. I also know it’s temporary. I’ve been dealing with this crap off and on for most of my life.

And I know I’m not alone in dealing with this. (Hence talking about it here, because other people need to know they’re not alone.)

Now, normally, I feel like I need to come up with something really good for my blogs. It feels like it needs to be important and informative for people to want to bother reading it.

Social media has this way of making us feel like we need to be perfect and polished, like we have to be experts at everything.

When it comes time to write a blog, I tend to pick some tidbit about writing and give advice on it. Sometimes it’s based on mistakes I’ve made in the past or things I’ve learned while researching story structure or flow or character development or whatever. Sometimes it’s a pet peeve that cropped up in a book I’m reading, or maybe it happened in a book I read years ago and it just came screaming back to me.

But it always feels like I need to act like an expert.

I mean, I’m not.

By any means.

Which is always made abundantly clear by the “update” portion of my blog, wherein I basically say I’ve been throwing shit at the wall all week to see what sticks.

Because I’m not an expert.

And I certainly don’t feel like an expert today.

I don’t have a foolproof, airtight plan detailing everything I need to do every day for the rest of the year to make all my dreams come true in the new year. I’m not going to lie to you guys and say that if you do everything I do, follow every step, all your dreams will come true, too.

(If anyone ever says that, approach with caution. Or…just walk away.)

Humans can’t possess that level of perfection. We are flawed creatures by nature. We can plan things, but that doesn’t guarantee the perfect outcome every time.

We get in the way. We make mistakes. Life gets in the way. Shit happens.

I have some plans for what I need to do and some ideas of what I want to try, but I don’t know if they’ll work until I try them.

And that’s part of being human.

So for all the millions of people also battling anxiety and depression and imposter syndrome, here are a few things you need to know.

You’re not alone. (I promise.)

It is temporary.

It’s okay not to be an expert, so long as you keep trying and learning.

It’s okay to take a break if you’ve been pushing yourself too hard, so long as you taking a few hours to relax doesn’t turn into you never getting back on the proverbial horse.

Keep trying even if it’s difficult. Because ultimately, you’re doing this for a reason.

Keep reading. Keep writing.

Later.

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