Unlovely Feelings

Feelings about writing I’d rather not have

Lately, I have written little. I’ve edited, edited, and edited (and frankly have at least two novels left to edit with ProWritingAid). But this means I now have writer’s block and haven’t done the very part of writing that gives me a high.

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The unlovely feelings I’ve harbored

Instead, the writing part of my life has become a series of unlovely and even petty feelings. I’m ashamed of the thoughts and cycle through them helplessly. In exposing them to the light, I hope I can exorcise them.

The cycle goes like this:

  • Being disappointed by my progress in writing/being read
  • Looking down at my talent
  • Being jealous of other people who have advanced in writing and being read

Self-pity and jealousy aren’t a good look, so I don’t let them out. Except here, I’m letting them out by owning them. By admitting them, rather than indulging them.

What do I do about this?

I think I need to go back to what I love, so I remember what I love about writing. And what I love about writing (other than getting attention, which I’ve already noted is failing) is actually writing. I need to create and then I’ll have the energy to do what I need to do — the promoting, which pushes me into the comparisons to others and the jealousy.

This is all very intellectual. but…

I’m analytical about this whole thing, which tells me one thing: I’m trying to stifle these unlovely feelings by managing them. Feelings are not to be managed without paying attention to them and letting them out constructively.

The way I learned to do this was through cognitive journaling. Without going into too much detail, cognitive journaling lets you document a feeling and its power over you, then examine the cognitive distortions that fuel those feelings. Many of our bad feelings come from inaccurate thoughts.

So that is what I need to do about my unlovely feelings — let myself listen to them and then find the truth.

I’ve got some work to do.

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