Artistic Loneliness

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I’d show you my soul,
open it up before you
and hold it to the light,
but I worry you’d laugh
shredding any self-confidence
that has snuck through
my long line of offenses
and survived.

~Maranda Russell

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I Don’t Like to Read Anymore :(

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Lately I’ve hit the worst and longest lasting reading slump I can remember. For at least a couple months now I have struggled with picking up a book (any book) and reading it. I’ve tried a multitude of genres and subject matter, so I don’t think that is the issue. I’ve tried books of different lengths and even graphic novels and books with lots of pictures and still find myself throwing most of them to the side relatively quickly and just losing interest. I’m starting to worry this may be my new normal.

But WHO AM I if I no longer like to read? Reading and being a devoted reader has been such a huge part of my identity for so long that I feel lost without the passion for books I’ve always had. If you aren’t a reader, I know you will probably think this is a stupid post, but if you are like me and love to live in other worlds through print, you probably get my sense of despair and existential angst over this matter.

Self doubt

Do any other authors out there struggle to believe that what you write is actually worth writing?  For the past few months I’ve been able to make a fairly successful living off of my copywriting and ghostwriting clients, plus I have had publishers show real interest in my creative writing, however, I still doubt every day that I will be able to write anything other than a page full of nonsense. 

It’s almost like I fear that talent is like an ancient muse who will simply show up and leave whenever he wants to.  I don’t trust myself to succeed.  Every day I take at least two assignments from clients, and with each one I doubt that I will be able to complete the work to their satisfaction.  This fear makes no sense, after all, I have never had a client reject my work or rate it poorly, and many of these clients are returning customers who have purposefully sought me out because they like my style.

Is doubt something that accompanies creativity?  Do artists and musicians experience the same kind of distrust?  I sincerely hope that I’m not alone.  I worry sometimes that I am just some neurotic soul with an inferiority complex.  Maybe the fact that I actually worry about being neurotic makes me even more so…