{Thoughts}: Thicker-Skinned

In the past, when I was younger, I was discouraged from writing. Whether it was when I was in grade school, taunted for having such a dorky and nerdy hobby, or in high school when my so-called friends ripped up a manuscript I had just gotten edited from a teacher I respected, I felt the pull to act as though I didn’t have the passion to scribble words into a notebook or type my imaginary worlds on a computer. I have dated men who have told me I was addicted to writing. Men who forbade me from writing. A mother who always scolded me when she found me writing or took away my journals to be psychoanalyzed by men who looked like Santa Claus.

I have finally found a man who is so proud of me for the novels I write and the poetry I jot down. He is encouraging, kind, and good. It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable enough with my writing to write pretty regularly. But because of my bipolar disorder and PTSD, there are some days I can hardly manage to get out of bed much less create a world. I have faced adversity and discouragement all my life when it comes to writing fiction or writing in general, so the fact that I am about 40k words into my first novel, published a book of poetry (still feels surreal), and working on several other projects is very gratifying. I am very proud of myself for the work I have accomplished, and the work I continue to write.

However, today, I came across someone who encouraged me again to give up the hobby. Someone who insisted I “put the old dog out of its misery”. Normally, I don’t write about people nor do I try to insult people with my posts. I tend to focus on my general thoughts, but this got me to thinking. If I just gave up on one incredibly rude man’s thoughts of my progress, I would never have a body of work as I do now. I may have not finished my novel yet, and it may be taking me longer than it takes others, but I am still working on it. I am a work-in-progress, and so is my writing. There is nothing to be ashamed of in that.

I used to be so thin-skinned and fragile. I am growing, I am evolving. It seems that my skin is growing thicker. I am learning to take the jabs and run with them.

-L.G.

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