You get excited about people who make things that mean something to you because it helps you to figure out who you are, and right now all help is good help.
It feels defeatist to say that. You’re supposed to know. You’re not supposed to be the girl who posts romantic quotes on Facebook and cries at TV shows about twentysomethings “finding” themselves.
You’d never admit it out loud, but when GIRLS first came out and everyone you know told you that you’re just like Hannah Horvath “… but like, in a good way,” you were really kind of flattered.
You were flattered because that is you, represented, on screen, being told it’s okay to not have a book deal yet and yes, that you’ve “got” this, and yes, that one day you’ll be brilliant, and that yes, maybe even now there are occasional glimpses of it.
It’s reassurance because in this moment you’re watching all thirteen episodes of Orange is the New Black back-to-back as you eat an entire fridge cake, berating every single second of the process because its.a.waste.of.time. and yet somehow, your friends apparently still believe in you even though you are smack talking the SHIT out of your stupid, unaccomplished self.
YOU ARE SO FUCKING LAZY. One of your favourite bloggers just got an agent, and you’re melting Mars Bars down into bite-sized chunks and watching lesbian prison fights? You’re nothing. You’re worse than nothing, in fact, because you *can* do it, it’s just that you’re *not* doing it, and that makes you even more pathetic.
ATTENTION. Listen to this next bit very closely: It’s okay to tell your imagination that you’ve heard her, and will take her observations into consideration. Then you can tell her to fuck off.
You understand me? Accept the self-criticism, and then let it go.
You might not think you’re good at a lot of things, but in one thing you come out tops: treating yourself like you’re not worth bupkis.
You’re doing it because you’re worried. Shit’s changing right now, and you’re gonna be out of control over a lot of things for the next six weeks on account of the fact that you’re making yourself voluntarily homeless until the middle of September.
By default, you’ll be at the mercy of others, and SPOILER ALERT: You hate not being in control. The one thing you can control, though, is how hard you work. And when everything else is up in the air, generally that means you compensate by sitting at your computer for fifteen hours a day and then spontaneously combusting and crying and oh god. Haven’t we learnt anything yet?
Here’s the emotional shortcut. Know that you’ll always have clean clothes and a makeup bag and a desk, at work, that is yours on which to keep anything you need day-on-day. There will always be somewhere to do your Long Sunday Shower and a kitchen table to write from and actually yeah. You probably *are* about to discover all kinds of distractions, but instead of worrying about not having the time to write, consider allowing yourself to be distracted so that you have something to write about.
Remember this time last year? When you worked with the people you loved most in the world, on the Italian Riviera, sweating and teaching and running around all crazy by day, and partying harder than you ever have before by night, never taking a break but it being okay because you were loved and so you fed on that? Don’t be a martyr over this next six weeks. Be loved again, accept help, fuck about a bit.
It’s time to be irresponsible, and, (gasp, shock, horror) have a little unscheduled fun. Go with the flow. You’ll live to tell the tale and nobody will even notice you were gone.
You cried at the film that is basically your life this weekend because you saw your nomadic frustrations in the lead character, and so maybe now is the time for a few home truths, too, because to enjoy the next six weeks you need to stop acting like a crazy and so SLAP. Consider this a wake-up call:
- you do not have an agent because you don’t write to agents to tell them you require one
- you are wasting your time penning articles for free, because you are a good writer and thus should be compensated for your time. Adjust your output accordingly even if the depth of your portfolio suffers for it
- you are not, in fact, a character in somebody else’s imagination, and must find the strength to write your own narrative arc.
Read books, watch films, go to the theatre- drink up other people’s characters. But know that you, you're not the character. You’re doing okay, okay?