But when you put so much of your emotional investment into something, failure sometimes feels a bit like death. And what's worse, it feels like the blood is on your hands. You didn't work hard enough or believe hard enough. You didn't push yourself to the breaking point needed to succeed. You let your dreams die. At least that's what my anxiety brain tells me.
Detachment also feels like a death to me. Or maybe never even living. It's not having passion for your work. Which leads to writing that feels lifeless. I pour my soul into everything I create. I want my stories to be full of passion, love, and my own truth. I want it to be so vulnerable that it hurts to create. A cathartic pain.
But it's exactly because I'm so deeply attached to doing what's best for my writing that I *need* to detach from pressure and expectations. I've never been able to be completely untrue to myself. At least not without excruciating emotional pain. But I've tried again and again to adapt myself to the world around me. Maybe if I'm quiet enough, my peers won't attack me. Maybe if I don't make waves, I can blend in better. Even more innocuous stuff, like maybe I can do my own version of NaNoWriMo, make my own rules but still fit in. But it's still adapting. And in the end, it still hurts.
I miss when writing felt more like a sacred calling than a job. I miss the freedom of writing and posting what I wanted, when I wanted, instead of wondering what people would be expecting from me next. I'm tired of feeling like I'm behind everyone else, like I have to work myself harder and harder to even have a chance of catching up.
I'm tired of adapting. I'm tired of juggling plates marked writer and author, when it feels like no one is watching anyway. Maybe I don't want to be an "author" as much as I just want to be a person who writes and shares her work. Maybe I'm an eccentric. Maybe I'll never be "successful".
I'm not giving up. But I have to give in. Let go. And just be.