Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jennifer Gracen: Transitions

In both my writing life and my personal life, I find myself lately at yet another point of transition. I’ve had to push myself out of some of my comfort zones. And even though I know that I’ll be rewarded with growth and success of several kinds on the other side if I do it, my inner self hates doing it. That inner self alternates between whimpering, grumbling, procrastinating, throwing temper tantrums, and having full blown anxiety.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we let fear hold us back, even when we KNOW the outcome will be to our benefit?

In my writing life, it’s been trying a new angle of writing. Writing some scenes in a way I haven’t before. The character in question demanded it. I had to go to a place with him that I haven’t in prior books. And it’s scary, because writing is such a personal art. Even though it’s the character saying and doing these things, not me, there’s still that aspect of feeling like I’m putting myself out there for everyone to see, naked and vulnerable.

In my personal life, I’m job hunting. Long story short, after being a SAHM and also working from home doing freelance, it’s not enough anymore. I haven’t worked a typical office job in fifteen years. So, it’s more of the putting myself out there, feeling vulnerable, all of that... it’s damned uncomfortable, and it’s a process that can really get me down sometimes.

I recognize that in both pursuits, there’s a fear of failure. Not just failure, either, but failing in spectacular fashion, with images of going down in flames over the side of a cliff as I freefall into choppy, shark-ridden waters. That fear is what makes the inner voice do all those yucky things and makes me twist and whine and, and... And ultimately it doesn’t matter, because I have to do these things. Period, end of story.
We all do.
Yes, pushing out of comfort zones brings growth, strength, and goodness. We know this. But it’s really hard. Because we are hardest on ourselves, and change is scary.

So I figured I’d talk about it. Hearing that others endure these growing pains and whispering doubts, to know someone else is struggling with it too, maybe makes someone feel not so alone as they go through something similar. Maybe it’s you. So...

Okay. Strapping my sword and shield back on. I got this. You got this. See you on the other side, fellow warrior.


Anne-Mhairi Simpson said...

*buckles on armour* Right there with you.

Jennifer Gracen said...

Atta girl. We are FIERCE under the whispers of the doubt monster. We're going to kick ass. I know it. *unsheaths sword* *points it towards the sky*

Eileen A-W said...

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. You will be surprised at all you are capable of doing once you give yourself a chance.

dstoutholcomb said...

I haven't worked outside the home since 1994. The idea of going back is scary. I almost had an opportunity around the time school started, but in the end, it didn't work out. I've done freelance editing, but it's not enough, and my writing hasn't really taken off either--not that I expected to be a bestselling author on my first publishing venture. lol

I think this is where networking with friends can make a difference. Several moms I know have gone back initially by working for a non-profit, but, there's not a lot of money there for a single mom.

For now, I'm going to continue the working-from-home thing. For our situation, it works out since we'll have two in college next year. If I earn too much money, it will mess up the financial aid.

Best wishes! You can do this!


Jennifer Gracen said...

Thank you. I certainly plan to find out. :)

Jennifer Gracen said...

Thanks for this!
Yup, the thought of going back to work out there after all this time is a little terrifying, even though I know it'll be good for me. I'll get it done...

Hope your situation continues to be what you want and need it to be. Two in college, yikes!

Thanks for the hugs and response.