Fear and Loathing in Your Career.

20 Aug

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I wrote a post on my personal blog Straighten My Tie today, and I must say it is the first time I’ve ever made such an affirmative statement in my professional field to a large audience. I love writing and respect others that write. Yet, and still, I am ever lacking confidence to take my skills to the next level. I see all of these young and successful writers and live vicariously through them. They are doing what I wish I could. My self-deprecating nature holds me back. Not to mention the confidence—some days I have it; some days I don’t. Sue me! Without Sport, I probably wouldn’t even be doing this blog. I have 15% of the time that I think I’m the shit (I know. It comes across as all the time. I’m just good like that), but it’s not the case. Every time I put pen-to-page, or in this case, fingertip-to-keyboard, I contemplate whether or not I have the chops to reel in the readers? Will they think I’m a good writer? Are they judging me? I’ve been chatting with friends a lot about this lately and realize that if I feel I don’t, someone does.

Come on. You’re reading this aren’t you? No cockiness is intended, but I think that’s a valid point. I must be doing something right. But why can’t I feel this way all the time, and how do I conquer it or at least move on pass the ‘woe is me’ bit.

I was reading Redhead Writing yesterday, and she mapped out why freelancers are just…I hyper linked the article. Read it. You’ll see what she said. I feel as if I can’t even step into the notion of business sometimes because I can’t, or at least won’t, reject the notion that I’m not good enough. That is ending here (pretty soon)! Hahahahaha. “Pretty soon,” I said. Don’t judge. I’ll find you. I’m just trying to say that I’m in my thirties, and this issue sucks.

Talk to me, Scoundrels. Are you actualizing your career choice? Are you having the same this-is-crap feeling I experience every time I want to move forward in my career—fear of being good enough?

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17 Responses to “Fear and Loathing in Your Career.”

  1. dulcedementia August 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I had this exact conversation with a fellow writer last night. As writers, we’re our own worst critics, and I fall into that trap all the effing time. But when it comes down to it, sometimes we have to believe the hype that other people tell us.

    I tend to brush off compliments given to me by people who aren’t writers, telling myself that they don’t know truly good writing. But the fact remains, I have gotten jobs solely based on my good reputation as a writer. It means I’m doing something right. Right?

  2. Erika Napoletano August 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Hey – I’ve got your back. Any time you want to sit down over a cuppa and pick my brain about putting on the “real biz” pants, you say the word. Took a lot of colleagues bitch slappin’ ME to get me to put mine on. Anything I can do to make someone else’s journey easier, hey – I’m all for it.

    Writing is a practice. I just started taking yoga. Hot yoga. And I suck. But apparently, they call it a practice, too. Lord knows, I apparently need a lot of practice. But if you love writing and you NEED to do it to feel complete, maybe it’ll be your yoga. I’m realizing I like the practice. Each day I tip-over less. :)

    If you do not take me up on the coffee offer, I will sneak into you house and steal every cool t-shirt you own. Yes, I will.

    • theVar August 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

      Erika, I will, without a doubt, take you up on the cuppa. And my t-shirts are off limits. I cut. ;)

  3. rick copper August 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Been writing for years – ad copy. Pay is good, but excruciatingly boring. Ventured into fiction. Lots of people tell me I am “the shit,” but until I take a leap I am only “the shit” in my own personal water closet.

    With help, we can all get there… if we have the desire. Stick to it.

    And Erica – I took up Tae Kwon Do, wrenched a calf muscle, broke a toe, but still at it for the same reason I am still writing fiction. I refuse to give up.

    • theVar August 21, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      Thanks, Rick. It’s full steam ahead.

  4. Mechelle Martz August 21, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    I have to say that I feel the same way and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. I love what I do and couldn’t live life fully without it, yet at times I too can’t seem to get over that self loathing slump. I feel I’m lacking in practice and grace. Then some days I wake up and think the day is ahead of me and I can accomplish anything. Hmmmm…I thought life was supposed to get easier in my 30s. Who started that myth?

    • theVar August 21, 2010 at 11:02 am #

      Not sure who started it, but I’m the living myth buster.

  5. lisa nelson August 21, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    Isn’t life a practice? It sure is for me?

    • Jon Aston August 21, 2010 at 10:53 am #


      • theVar August 21, 2010 at 11:06 am #

        Thanks for visiting us, Jon.

    • theVar August 21, 2010 at 11:04 am #

      Life is a practice, and the leaps seem to be increasingly harder to take.

  6. moonduster (Becky) August 21, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    You are not alone in feeling that way, and yes, it is detrimental to doing what we want to do. I hsave been actively working to change that perception of mine or at least to write and submit my work despite feeling that way.

  7. Shelly Kramer August 21, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Love this. Here’s a little secret: every one is afraid. At first. I am relatively new to blogging. I’ve been “writing” all my professional career – but that takes the form of creative briefs, letters to my mom, emails, and an occasional sappy card to my husband. After so many people saying “you’re good, why aren’t you writing … I mean, really writing” … I did what everyone does – and procrastinated some more. Gnashing finger nails, worrying that I would look stupid, sound worse, be revealed for the moron I really am — yup, you name it – all that shit.

    Well, here’s the thing. It’s like getting a little fatter than you like and knowing that the only way to fix it is to go the gym. You put it off for awhile, but finally you get your ass up and get on over there. You may not know all the right “moves” or “techniques” as you begin your journey toward better fitness, but you watch, listen, learn, read fitness magazines, watch infomercials on TV and buy shit you don’t need — all that. And, guess what happens? You get better. You get fit. Pretty soon, it feels like you’ve been doing this all your life. And you don’t ever want to quit. And you keep watching, reading, listening, learning — and get better as a result.

    My point. Quit making this a bigger deal than it really is. You’ve got lots of interesting stuff in that head of yours. Write it down. Slip it out there a little bit at a time if you don’t want to jump in whole hog. Keep watching others – the ones you wanna grow up to be just like – and see how they do things. Keep learning. Keep trying, testing, asking …. all those things.

    Pretty soon, you’ll see that this writing crap – well, it’s a bit like crack cocaine. Once you get started, you can’t stop! And you’ll kick yourself for waiting so long to try. And you’ll be amazed that you were such a chicken about it for so long.

    Get going. And if you have questions or need a kick in the fanny, let me know – I can always be counted on to help.

    And I’ll be waiting ……

    Thanks again for a great post!


    • theVar August 23, 2010 at 10:53 am #

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Shelly. Oh, and don’t worry. I’ll be quick to shoot a what-when-how-and-why your way when the time arises. :)

  8. TheJillianSays August 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I read that post on Redhead Writing this week, too. I was like a deer in headlights. Thanks for this post; I think it may be the unifying element all we out-on-a-limb-ers possess but know we can’t harp on it. I think the trick is not killing that feeling, but locking it in a prison and finding a private space to let it out periodically for cardio.

  9. Cali @caligater August 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Yep – I’ve definitely felt (& feel, intermittently) the same thing. Sometimes I wanna punch The Career Self-Loather in the nads. Then, I talk to Erika and she bitch-slaps me into shape. ;) I really appreciate Shelly Kramer’s getting in shape analogy. I’m (re)discovering that my writing truly is a practice.

    Keep on writing…it’s good stuff!

    (postscript: nice woo theme ;))


  1. Tweets that mention Fear and Loathing in Your Career. « Talk Thirty To Me -- Topsy.com - August 21, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly Kramer and Diana Adams, Shilpi Bose. Shilpi Bose said: Fear and Loathing In Your Career | http://bit.ly/ctP3Dd | A GREAT read RT @ShellyKramer […]

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