by The Writer
First I need to mention the title of this blog, and the day of its creation are purely coincidental. For my first post, I wanted to begin with something groundbreaking, but then decided I shouldn’t try to upstage Jesus. Being a sinner isn’t easy, but it sure is complex. We’re human, and we all do it. However, every now and again, I look for forgiveness for the wrong I’ve done. It is believed the reason JC died for our sins is so humankind could be forgiven, and our creator would accept us. I’m not a religious man, but I do embrace the peaceful message and that of spirituality. My interpretation of his actions is positive transitions involve death and forgiveness.
After watching Brené Brown on TEDTalks speaking about vulnerability and shame, one of those light bulbs moments hit me. Incidentally during my shift in awareness, my girl friend was having one too. I wish I could say that this moment was serendipitous, but sadly it was not. I was so moved by Brown’s study of shame and began reflecting on my life to see what exactly I was shameful about. Incidentally I was working on a script that dealt with sin, and my mind made a connection between shame and sin. Brown’s theory is that once shame is explored, one becomes vulnerable. Furthermore Brown’s research suggests that innovation, creativity, and change are the result of being vulnerable. As an insecure writer always searching for inspiration, chasing creativity, and looking to change, I figured I have to jump on board and give this a try. Of course I’m afraid to do this, but it seems some things I was doing before weren’t working, so it’s time to change and confront that ‘I’m not good enough’, and ‘Who do you think you are?’, inner critic.
I became one of those bullheads who wouldn’t expose my shame of the “what do you do for a living”, question. My writing journey focused mostly on transitioning from a starving artist to a professional highly paid writer. There’s no shame in that. Or is there? As a man I’m supposed to pursue work vigorously, and for me to attract a suitable ‘mate’, I must ensure my status is that of someone in a high position. Of course, this can only be achieved through controlling my emotions to ensure I am not seen as feminine (God forbid!). I began questioning the stories I’ve told myself over the past ten years of pursuing a writing career. There is nothing wrong with ambition, drive and persistence. To achieve anything in life, one must employ these traits. I would’ve never finished a first draft of a script, or novel if I hadn’t been those things. Yet, vulnerability is not a trait I would’ve thought to use in my tool kit. The lack of my vulnerability only served to isolate me further, which for a writer isn’t the worst thing in the world. Or so I thought. Being an observer of life, instead of a participant finally caught up with me. After completing my first novel, then adapting it into a screenplay, I continued labouring over my writing to ensure it was ‘good enough’ for the subjective market place. This labor of love was two years in the making, and I knew without a doubt that it would be my saving grace. It was. And it wasn’t.
Having written a variety of almost two-dozen scripts, I grew accustomed to rejection letters from agents and producers and knew the query process was just a numbers game I had to play. Never mind the shame I felt inside for the projects collecting dust on my hard drive that ‘weren’t good enough’; this newest piece was a winner. My passion for writing soon turned into an obsession. Most recently, in order to become a professional writer, I began a crowdfunding campaign to create a marketing buzz for my passion project. I had everything planned out. I solicited everyone I knew to lend a hand in funding a graphic novel version of my beloved project. There was no stopping my drive; within 30 days I would have all the support I needed to make the first of many of my dreams come true. However, after 30 days my ‘ambition’ blinding me began revealing a dark picture, but I was driven and I refused to feel embarrassed about my inbox filling up with rejection letters from literary agents.
Missed opportunities aside, the real devastation came with the loss of long-standing close friends, family, and girl friend who believed my passion for writing would never match my passion for her. As I mentioned before, my awareness was shifting and I became excited, but at this time my girl friend’s awareness shifted in another direction and she finally wanted things between us to end. The sting of hundreds of industry rejections (which I’ve experienced) didn’t hurt as much as hers. I realized too late that my focus was all wrong. I questioned my original intentions for becoming a writer. Money? Fame? I liked movies, and always wanted to become an actor, but I figured I ‘wasn’t good enough’, and thought I could have more control if I created the content myself. The reason was pride.
At the time of writing this post, the woman I loved for over five years just wrote to tell me it’s over, leaving me devastated and crushed. So for the next 30 days I’m going to write about my feelings and expose the shame my pride has helped me hide for years. I’m hoping that this newfound vulnerability will help to mend my broken heart and help transition me to forgiving myself for being human.
Even as I write the post I hear my inner critic asking, “Who do you think you are?” I answer, “We’ll see.” Perhaps the actions of writing about it, will speak louder than the words that I’ve written. I don’t know what to expect either, but that’s part of the fun!