Monday, March 30

Paranoia and Phobia...

Posted by Shelly Holder

Today I have been battling mightily against the whispers of the Inner Critic, and I feel that in the end I won, because I was still able to produce and submit a poem for a campus literary competition today despite her insidious words. Victory!

I feel very proud that I did submit the poem, last minute as it was. It boosted my confidence, and gave fresh energy to the idea of doing the writing contest circuit again. So I spent a little time in celebration by looking on the web for a new contest to tackle. I found a really good listing (here) that I usually reference for this kind of thing, and it seems to have a fair variety (legitimate too, a big thing with me, but that's another blog post.) 

So my Inner Critic has been dealing with the idea that seems to pop up around me everywhere lately: that the only "good" writers are the ones that suffered. English class is a special contributor to this idea, with assigned biographical readings and biographical interpretations of the text. We started Tennyson today,  so that compounded the suspicion begun last night, when casual conversation established that only people with sh*tty lives have something to talk about. That they are the only good writers. That they have suffered, and therefore have magically channeled this suffering into the ability to write. Emphasis on the magic and not so much on the phobias that drive hard work.

Logically, I don't know that I can agree with this, but the Inner Critic is whispering away that I'll never be able to write about meaningful topics because I'm not in perpetual suffering. Any person with common sense knows not to wish for misfortune, but I'm also unwilling to accept the idea that I would only be a mediocre writer. That one really rankles, and the idea that being blessed naturally precludes one from success ... well, that one just beats it all. *

But I will conquer! I have submitted one poem already today, maybe I should go off and write about why this stereotype is stupid. =) 

*04/03/09 edit: I found a quote from Aristotle today, that seems to reflect all this: "There is no great genius without a mixture of madness." I cringed as I read this. 

Right Now: 
What I'm listening to: "Let Me Go" by Old School Freight Train
What I want most: ...