Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Busting through Insecurity

If you are reading this, it must be August 5th and time for a meeting of The Insecure Writers Support Group. I'm trying to work with my mind on my insecurity these days. I don't find it helpful to hold a core belief that I'm "too old, too busy, too boring" to write anything worthwhile. How do I bust through this belief? I look for evidence that contradicts such a belief. I search out others who began their artistic endeavors when older than the norm. I found Grandma Moses who didn't start painting until she was 78 and ended up being considered successful by her nineties (one of her paintings went for 1.2 million a few years ago). Mary Wesley (The Camomile Lawn) had her first adult book published when she was 70. She was extremely prolific from her 70s into her 90s. That gives me hope, as I loved Camomile Lawn.
What about the core belief that I'm too boring to write anything worthwhile? Well, the truth is that I'm told I'm not.  I have led a wildly full life, travelled plenty on this continent and a bit in Europe. I've been married a couple of times, raised my own children and helped with the raising of a few others. I've worked widely too - from a nurse's aide in an old folk's home to a real lumberjack (official title - choker bunny), to a cook in a very good restaurant, to a psychotherapist, and many more in between. I've created plays and photos and gatherings. So... maybe I'm not boring, though an interesting life isn't the same as having something to say and saying it well. I suppose, when I feel the downward tug of insecurity, I must remind myself that I write because I write. I write to learn the world. It will have to do.
a photo of Prospect taken back a ways.

14 comments:

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
You know I don't ever think that one is too old for anything that they have set their hearts to do. That doesn't mean that I ignore age or try to act like a 20 or 30 year old. It simply means that I accept that life changes, my body changes but that doesn't mean to stop living, to give up fulfilling my purpose in life.

So keep moving. You are doing a great job of overcoming your insecurities by thinking of all of the accomplishments that you have accomplish in the past.

The experiences alone, written in a book, will help those who walk behind you, because you're leaving a trail with insight that they can evaluate and accept or not accept for their own lives.

Shalom,
Pat Garcia

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Choker Bunny is the greatest job title I have ever heard. :-)

It sounds like you have plenty of great experience and time left. So get started writing them down! You have a lot of life to share, don't hide it away and keep it all to yourself.

Margot Kinberg said...

I think one of the major tasks we as writers have is to stop listening to the mental recordings we all have. They tell us we're too young/old/busy/whatever to write. And they hold us back in a lot of other ways, too. Letting go of those recordings isn't always easy, but it's worth it.

Bish Denham said...

One is never to old and it's never to late to do what you want to do or enjoy doing. Even if it winds up only being for myself, I will always write.

Bish, your co-host, #128 on the Alex Scale.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Pat! Long time no see. Yep, that's right! I like blazing trails too.

Jan Morrison said...

Hey C.D. - it is isn't it?! Too bad the job itself was so dumb. Dumb for a man or a woman - just mean work that ruins the environment. But they said I couldn't do it and I did. A choker-bunny is a person who sets beads. Beads are large metal balls that fit into an open bell shape - both of which are on the end of a long dangling line. You poke the end around these enormous fallen logs and then up again and fasten them round by putting the bead in the open bell shape. Then you get "out of the bite" which is the area in which the log could swing as it is hauled up or down a hill by a big machine. If you get clipped by one, it might be the last trip you'll ever make. The hard work is climbing up and over all those fallen logs to get to the safe area. Ah well, I was young.

Jan Morrison said...

Yes Margot - it is an important task of any artist to ignore that inner critic. I'm doing pretty well lately, actually. But I still have a ways to go.

Madilyn Quinn said...

Shoot, nobody's too old to do what they want! Go for it! Your life sounds like it's been really interesting so far: add publishing a book to it :)

Jan Morrison said...

Yes, Bish! If it is only for myself at least I am a discerning reader. I will keep on keepin' on - no fear of that.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Absolutely!!! I want to give 3 cheers on this post but instead I"ll give 3 more exclamation marks!!!

Melissa Marsh said...

You're most certainly never too old to start and to continue! I think our life experiences help to create our unique voice. Only you can tell your story in your way!

M.R. R. said...

The older you are, the more you've experience, and the more you have to write about. Go for it!

Arlee Bird said...

I agree with the never too old philosophy. As long as ones mind is clear and abilities are there we can keep creating and contributing. Each of our minds is a repository of unique experiences that should be shared with others. To not offer ourselves is selfish and a waste of personal resources.

Keep on creating!

Lee
Wrote By Rote

D.J. Kirkby said...

This was a great blog post for those of us who are also suffering from insecurities. I always try to remember how many people I personally know of who accomplished things in their 60s and beyond, but it's hard to believe it could happen to any of us who put in the same effort. I agree with Margot's comment, and sure do try to follow her advice (sometimes more successfully than others).