Big Fat Failure

Do you ever feel like a big fat failure? I know I sure as hell do. I spend most of my life convinced that I can’t do anything right.

This feeling affects most things I do, from working to having a successful relationship to writing. I don’t think there’s a particular reason I should feel this way; I’m not a significantly more terrible person than most people I know (but not significantly better, either). I make it to work on time every day, try hard to apologize when I know I’ve done someone wrong, and I don’t accidentally break an inordinate number of objects.

However, the feeling of being a failure still hangs over me, crippling any creative inclination I might have. This is what I feel is at the root of what I can refer to as my “writer’s block.” This feeling of impending, inevitable failure cripples me, acts as an immediate paralyzer to my ability to write. I sit down at my computer, pull up an empty word document, and immediately switch to facebook or tumblr. Or I don’t even make it to my computer, because writing takes so long and I’m so tired, and there’s no point anyway, because it’s not like anything I write is good.

And so nothing gets done.

My goal this month is to get over these feelings of failure and to get back into the habit of writing. For July, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo, as some of you may know, is National Novel Writing Month. It occurs during November, and everyone who participates undergoes the arduous task of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Camp NaNoWriMo is like regular NaNoWriMo’s laid-back cousin. Occurring in April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo is a month dedicated to setting a writing goal and sticking with it – whether it be starting a new literary project of any kind (play, poetry collection, etc) or editing past work into a new version.

This year, I’ve decided to use Camp NaNoWriMo to get back into the habit of writing. Every day this month, I have to sit down and write at least 500 words. They can be about anything – parts of a story, a blog entry, or even just a random stream-of-consciousness journal-style entry of things that I have on my mind. No rules, just 500 words a day.

The point is to overcome my fear of failure surrounding writing. If I can get comfortable sitting down and writing anything, if I can get back into the habit of writing in general, I hope I can get back into the habit of writing something that’s actually part of a greater whole without worrying whether or not the first draft is going to be a complete and utter failure.

Because let’s face it – the first draft, by definition, is going to be a failure. But that’s ok, because you can edit it and make it better. The greater failure is no first draft at all.

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Shackin’ Up

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I moved in together. Here are some things that I’ve experienced since I’ve moved in with him.

  1. Travel times are significantly decreased. Now, this might not be too big of a deal for those of you with vehicles, but as a proud rider of the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority, I can tell you that the less time spent on the train, the better. Brooklyn has a lot of really good connections between itself and Manhattan, but as far as north-to-south travel within the borough is concerned, things can be less than ideal. Even though we were only living about four and a half miles away from each other, the time it took to make it from Point A (my place) to Point B (his place) could take anywhere from 40 to 55 minutes, depending on whether or not you just miss not only your first train, but your transfer as well. Being able to just come home and have him around saves me lots of time.
  2. Things are a lot funnier. My boyfriend is full of jokes. Granted, most of them are really bad jokes, but I like them (hence the whole dating-and-wanting-to-move-in thing). Even if we’re just sitting down to breakfast together, and I’m blearily stuffing granola cereal into my face and hating the fact that I have to go to work, he’ll make some silly remark that brightens my attitude and makes me feel like I can, in fact, make it through the day. I like hearing him say things to the dishes, make weird noises, and generally be a strange, funny guy.
  3. You always get to hang out. We’re both very busy people, and in the past our packed schedules made it difficult to see each other as much as we wanted. We tried to cram in one “date night” a week (usually us being exhausted in the same apartment and watching Netflix) in between work, gym sessions, and all the little chores that take twice as long when you live in the city (ex: laundry). Now that we’re living together, we get to see each other all the time.
  4. You learn to compromise. As the song goes, you can’t always get what you want. Some things we’ve compromised on is our neighborhood, the train line we live off of, whether or not we have roommates, etc. While most of these compromises aren’t idly made (in fact, most of these compromises were monetarily-motivated), in our case it took one person to be more… willing… to point out reality and show what we really could afford vs. what would be nice but just isn’t right for us at the moment.
  5. You get to fall asleep and wake up together. Every night I get to fall asleep next to the person I want to see most and start my day with him as well. And that’s a great feeling.

I realize this is quite a rosy picture of cohabitation, and I attribute it to two main things – first, that my boyfriend and I have really good communication with each other and try to let each other know when the other person is annoying/hurting us, and two, that it’s only been about a month. However, I’m looking forward to what the future has in store for us together.