Monday, 21 July 2008

Self Revelations

No, THIS is my favourite.

Since my blog is a continuing stream of consciousness, this is what my consciousness is streaming today. I have discovered, much to my dismay, that I am a coward. I am not happy about this, an understatement, as I have always prided myself on my courage. My daughter is not the first person to accuse me of having a ‘rescue complex’, and it is true. In almost any given situation from earthquakes, to a man hitting a woman, to shots fired, I automatically assume I’m the only one there capable of handling the trouble. Yes, you’re right – I don’t play well with others. It’s really never been a problem, at least not for me, because every task I have attempted up until now I was well trained for and felt quite capable of executing.

What brought on this torrent of self-examination? I took a creative writing course last year from one of the American Universities. It was splendid, I learned a lot. A few weeks, all right a month, ago my instructor emailed me to see if I had continued with the novel I began in her class – I have but it’s on the back burner until I do further research, that’s why I am writing “Valley of the Kasbahs” – write what you know. Back to the act of cowardice – this lovely woman wanted to read what I had, and “any other writing” I had been doing. To say I was flattered would be another understatement, but have I sent her anything? That would be NO. I have found every excuse you could imagine – the wedding, the trip home, the rewrite, and on to blithering nonsense. I finally confronted myself last week and wrote said Professor and confessed, but did I send her the manuscript? That would be NO. I managed to find one more excuse.

I know why now, it’s because I’m terrified I’m not good enough. Understand I am one of the very fortunate people, and I know it, to have been excellent at everything I have turned my hand to in my life. I like that. Q says I ‘m competitive, a label I denied for years, but she may have something… I find it amusing that I am the first one in line to give encouragement to anyone who wishes to try something new. I also have an embarrassing amount of self-esteem, so what is the problem? Cowardice. Damn. But the definition of courage is to be afraid and do it anyway. I am sending the manuscript off today.



Ian Lidster said...

It's good that your blog is a stream of consciousness because it is your consciiousness, after all.

As for the wedding photos (and thanks for those) I prefer the first one you posted because it is amusing, and you happen to be in it.

jmb said...

I totally understand this as I too like to be excellent at everything. Well I did when I was young. That's why I gave up skiing after a half dozen lessons. I have never been so hopeless at anything in my whole life!

I'm glad you finally decided to send it off. You might as well get some free constructive criticism.

I Beatrice said...

It's not cowardice. It's something that every writer (every artist of any kind, probably) suffers from. Being one's own most severe critic, nothing one ever does is going to be good enough...

So I suppose it's a kind of vanity too, really - else why would one mind so much about not being thought good enough?

I am one of the worst 'cowards' of all when it comes to showing work. Before I wrote the blog, not a person in the world had ever seen a word I wrote. And I'd been writing for more than 50 years!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Well done, Lady M. sweet photo, too.

Brillig said...

Oh my goodness. This hit home with me so much because I am the EXACT same way! So... yeah. Good luck with that! :-D

mutleythedog said...

Well you should be like me - Brilliant at everything! *trails of rubbing leg*

Sparx said...

I understand this - it's the things about which one most cares which are also the things which engender the most fear - it's easy to be good at things about which one has not invested ones sense of self... failure at writing however would cut deep (I speak of myself here) and so avoidance means one can live in a world of 'maybe one day' for as long as one wants! Good for you for sending it off though, let us know the outcome! Glad to have you back, by the way.

Ian Lidster said...

PS For you, my dear, there is an award, if you check out my blog.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Screw your courage to the sticking place, Lady Mac.

Joel said...

Do you still check patients in the CCU for hernias? Remember seeing Monty Python instead of the Opera? How about New Orleans? You look beautiful! Joel Hoffman (boinkyhead at gmail)

Joel said...

Crickett. I want to talk to you about your life and your daughter.
Joel Hoffman

mutleythedog said...

I am in trouble... will you be my Princess on a white charger?

lady macleod said...

So… I just need to stay conscious then? Excellent. I’m pleased you enjoyed the wedding photographs, and pleased at your preference (blush). I couldn’t get over to your place yesterday because Le Grand Comptoir’s wireless went bugo, and I had to relocate to the Arab CafĂ© and ran out of battery juice! I shall make it over today. I love awards! It’s like cyber presents.
Thank you for coming by.

But you ARE excellent at everything. Don’t forget I know you in-person! Someday remind me to tell you the story of me and water skiing, there’s a tale.
Thank you for coming by.

I Beatrice,
I think the vanity comment is most likely right on, but then I don’t think vanity is small doses is a bad thing. It can push one to aspire to greater heights, or is that another noun? As for you, when you did let us see your work, it was most excellent. What are you doing with that by the by?
Thank you for coming by.

Hello friend! Thank you and thank you for coming by.

I must get over to see you! Since I let my at-home wireless go, I have only limited time now but I shall arrive. I am not at all surprised to find a kindred soul in you on this issue! “Good luck with that” indeed!
Thank you for coming by.

So true, so true, but we cannot, alas, all attain your cosmic heights.
Thank you for coming by (you are in so much trouble).

I think you are so right; it is a personal profession isn’t it? (shiver, shiver) Thank you, and thank you for coming by.

My Lord James
I’m making my best effort your Lordship.
Thank you for coming by.

Oh my giddy aunt! The past comes calling. AS always I appreciate the “beautiful” comment. I have emailed.

You are indeed in trouble, to have Q angry is at you is no small thing. She has her mother’s long fuse, but she also has her mother’s temper. Uh oh. I’m saddling the horse now…. You best practice your best, forgive me, hangdog, expression. (I couldn’t help myself)

mutleythedog said...

Oh phooey!!