I'm in the middle of one of my regular cycles. Nope, not a spin cycles. Not a vicious cycle (yes, I know it's a circle, but so often people mis-speak it). Not a bicycle either. My most prevalent recurrent mood is one which has crippled my professional life - and upon reflection, probably many elements of my personal life, too. I suffer from (self-diagnosis and made-up-name warning!) boom 'n bust confidence cycling. Fortunately, I don't have a particularly severe form of this syndrome - for example, when I'm on a confidence boom, I don't actually DO anything about it (because the confidence boom I experience only just peaks at somewhere around 'normal'). When I'm in a 'bust' phase, however, I frequently lose the drive to much of anything at all.
The roots of this life-long habit no doubt lie buried in my childhood, no doubt as well buried as my favourite, candy apple red matchbox car which is somewhere deep under the surface of the back garden at 26, Avondale Road, Hoylake. The result - at present - is that while I've been writing and supplementing some ongoing projects, I don't like much of what I've accomplished, and with regard to the already published book, I feel like I've hit a wall. I'm wondering if it's worth even trying to promote it. I despise feeling this way, but when it happens, it's an overwhelming and smothering blanket that envelopes me for a while. I know that I will emerge from it, and I've found that writing blog posts (no matter how unpleasant it may feel to do so, because in my infinite and fatalistic wisdom I KNOW that nobody will read it) is actually therapeutic.
It was from within this cloud of self-doubt that I sat down to watch a documentary on TV last night. The documentary itself was excellent - truly a fascinating piece of work about the 'industry' which surrounds the issue of breast cancer. Much of the program was filled with pieces to camera by obviously very intelligent women; some who have had the disease, some who still have the disease, and - most poignantly and affectively - some who are dying from the disease.
Many of the commentators were writers. I was struck by how erudite they were; how articulate they seemed, and how organized their brains seemed to be. I found myself - someone who calls himself a writer - wondering whether I am truly worthy of that label. I have the uncomfortable feeling that I may not be, and no matter how low my self-esteem may be at present, that's still a difficult thing to admit to myself. It's the kind of thought that encourages me to switch off the computer, to put down the pen or pencil; to keep my thoughts to myself. To shut the hell up.
But I've made a choice to do something different. If I never sell another book, perhaps putting thoughts out into the world via the internet has some value to somebody. In the spirit of the blog, sharing these thoughts may reassure someone out there that they do not feel these things in isolation, and that somewhere, a middle-aged wannabe writer is having a similar struggle with his ingrained processes.
And so, here we are; ostensibly writing a post about nothing, and yet if it resonates with just one person - hell, if it's merely something that someone else can recognize - it's worth doing, even if my own unskilled way.