[2019 Novel] Deep Diving Delusions

Doing anything requires self-confidence. If you go to the store to bread, you’ve gotta pick your parking stall or pick a seat on the bus, get the bread, take your spot in line, and use the time to purchase the bread, which could slow down the line for others if you take too long fumbling with your currency. Although innocent enough, we can extrapolate examples from there; writing takes extreme self-confidence – or, more likely, delusion.

Writing essays like this is merely self-expression.

I can talk about my perspectives and advocate that you should feel as comfortable in your own skin as I do in mine. Fly your freak flag, do whatever you want, have whatever hobbies you want, just as long as doing so doesn’t harm others. That sort of reasoning does advocate for individuality over collectivism, so it’s not surprising that I enjoy individualistic hobbies like writing and rowing versus, say, team sports. It’s not that I don’t play along well with others; more that I want to live and die by my own efforts.

Is that delusional?

Someone advocating for collectivist activities might consider that rebellious. I don’t stand in line if I can avoid it. I got caught up in the evening purchasing rush last night, and instead of waiting in line with people as they contended for the next spot in line, I went off to explore the rest of the store then write some notes for about five minutes, before returning to the thinner line. It’s important, though, for me to not stand in that sort of ideology too much. I enjoy the luxuries of certain collectivist traits: anonymity and a steady paycheck go a long way towards rejuvenating one’s sense of individuality because I feel like I can go further when I don’t stand out than when I do.

Wasn’t that a contradiction?

Phrased another way, I believe in myself so much that I’m OK with presenting pieces of my life publicly since it’s helpful in airing out parts of myself that I’m either not comfortable with admitting or have just learned to become more comfortable with being. I’m usually less than self-confident professionally and my insecurities do manifest themselves in ways where I don’t feel comfortable going to many places. Casually going to the supermarket to buy some bread is still weird for me. In my hoarder home, I’d hole up for days at a time without issue. Being around people was almost more the exception than the rule to my lifestyle.

That’s seemingly good for writing, right?

It takes time to write. I’ve dedicated most of today toward the act of writing a few thousand words. That may seem helpful, but the price I’m paying on that is the social element. Some people are more willing than others to call me out on my bullshit. I’m grateful to those people who were willing to tell me how parts of my writing weren’t that great because it helped me learn to be more critical with myself. I can be critical of myself and my writing because I know that I’m coming from a good place. If I can practice that in myself, then when others give me criticism over things, I can practice removing any sort of phrasing that might seem rudely ad hominem, which we typically are most sensitive toward, and then see the criticism for what it is.

Trusted criticism can be “negative.”

If I am my own biggest fan, and I can read back through things and cut out words or sentences to tell myself that I’m full of shit, then I can accept that criticism in others, and you can, too. If you can’t be self-deprecating while having self-respect or even attempt to practice it, then that’s outside the scope of my training as a filthy casual in the realm of psychology, and not an experience I’m familiar with. I strive for self-improvement in all areas of my life. Why would I want to live in routine squalor if I can sacrifice time and energy toward the gamble of better?

“Self-betterment enables world-bettering,[1]” after all.

All that said, if you tell your friends about your plans for writing and they express concern over not seeing you ever, if your family checks in on you because they haven’t heard from you in a while, or if acquaintances don’t want to talk to you about the intricacies of your story elements, it’s good to take a look outside yourself and consider whether or not they might actually have a point. People will always tell you what they think of you, they just won’t always do it directly. If one or two people don’t resonate with your ideas, that’s fine. If some people don’t, it’s good to take a look at the idea to see if it’s an idea that’ll actually float. If most everyone scoffs, then ask them to explore their rationale. It could be a personal bias against writing, a general fear of doing something contrarian with no apparent income revenue, or it could be that you’re a terrible storyteller – for now.

You can always practice more. I know I need much more practice.

It’s OK to give things a try even when you’re not sure whether you’ll succeed or not. It’s just important not to give up what’s good, to gamble too much, if everyone around you sees that you’re probably going to fail, especially if they’re not willing to help you out. With all that de-motivational thought exploration out of the way, if you feel that the story you want to tell is worth telling, then you should tell it. Even if you can’t tell it right now, keep the idea going. Get some new friends, meet more people, and shop the idea around some more. You’ll eventually find people that will be interested in lifting you and your idea up, especially when that means giving you criticism through all of it.

Your self-confidence should filter out bullshit.

Quotes[1] My website’s tagline. My favorite word is better, my second favorite word is zombie, and I wanted something to make the “better” part relevant since I was already using Zombiepaper as my nickname since I think before the website?
Sources: My personal experiences and thoughts borrowed from Stephen King’s On Writing.
Inspirations: I wanted to explore these thoughts as part of the plans of writing anything long-form because you have to get over critical feedback or indifference if you want to succeed in life or in writing.
Related: Other 2019 Novel writings, and this kinda reads like an Applied Self-Confidence essay, so read some of those, too.
Picture: I know the picture is low quality. It conveys information. That’s all it really needs to do. It doesn’t need to have a vaporwave a_e_s_t_h_e_t_i_c.
Written On: October 24th, 2019 [34 minutes, 8:38am to 9:12am, WordPress]
Last Edited: October 24th, 2019 [First draft; final draft for the Internet]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.