Self-discipline, self-esteem and self-doubt


You thought maybe I’d continue on where I left off yesterday. Maybe later. My thoughts have been interrupted by the fact I sold a story. Woot!

Everyone thinks I have tremendous self-discipline, no doubt because I do seem to get lots of things done. Sadly, this is not true. I constantly berate myself for all the things I’m not getting done. I look at the long list of possible accomplishments — not foolish impossible things like climbing K2 (much more deadly than Everest) or learning how to do heart surgery (getting queasy at the sight of a bloody finger probably is a major obstacle) but really quite doable things like writing my next novel or figuring out how the book market really works or becoming a public intellectual who will be in constant demand for pithy analysis of ‘deep subjects.’

My lack of discipline where these things are concerned is precisely the reason I have to work almost every day. If I didn’t I would get nothing done and what would my admirers think of me then? So I plug away, task after task and at the end of the month I surprise even myself with what I have accomplished.

But self- disciplined? Ha! Yesterday instead of making lamb chimichurri I ordered pizza and drank wine — gaining back all three pounds I had lost the previous week. No discipline there, folks.

What really drives me is self-doubt. Oh, I know I seem filled with self- confidence, brimming over with self-esteem. All a show. Frankly I only write because I doubt I really can. That’s my need to write — self affirmation. Nothing more. No secret muse, no burning creativity, just the need to prove myself. Even as I approach 60. Ha! Again ha! So, there you have it.

That’s the reason for my success. Self-doubt and a fiery need to prove myself wrong. Which is why selling a story can be so upsetting. If I could just prove myself right, I could quit. Read books, drink wine, stop being a writer and publisher, go for walks on the beach, be satisfied with my sad little existence. But no, I had to sell a story.

And that’s ten minutes.


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