Besides my Dad being disappointed in me, there’s no worse feeling than disappointment in myself. When I know I’ve screwed something up big time, and I feel the weight of it crushing me, like the ocean turning a submarine into nothing more than a tin can.
There was a time I would have allowed myself to be bowled over by this feeling. When I would have curled into a ball, under my blanket, possibly cried, and just slept. Okay, I may have done that one day last week. But for the most part, these days, I count my losses, such as they are, as life lessons.
Feeling disappointed in yourself doesn’t have to be a horrible thing.
What makes it horrible, is when you allow it to turn into a week long pity party and you don’t learn from whatever mistake it is that you made. When you stay down, instead of getting back up. And when you allow yourself to become petty and jaded because of it.
Being honest, I have a confession to make. I recently discovered that I had a serious jealousy issue over another writer. Once I confronted myself about it, I realized it had everything to do with being disappointed in myself. This person did nothing to me, personally. They are successful in their own right because of hard work they have put in, not any kind of magical formula that only they have the rights to.
Before I took a semi-forced break from here for almost a year, my readership was growing and I was doing fairly well. I was on the road to success, and I got off the train. Building a network of faithful readers takes time, and you can’t just disappear and expect them to patiently wait for your return.
I’m no Stephen King.
What I had to accept is, I’m essentially starting over. Sure, I am lucky to have a number of followers who stuck by me while I was away and I know how this place works, so I am not learning new things in the process of rebuilding.
But I am doing that. Rebuilding.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is readership and followers. Instead of being jealous of another person’s success and disappointed in your own, let it fuel you. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, as my grandfather loved to remind me. You have to work for things. Your success is dependent on the amount of work you’re willing to put in, not someone else.
I get up each day and write. Some things I put out there never get more than a couple of views, and that’s okay. I’m going to keep putting myself out there, pushing myself to write more, produce better content, and give of myself daily. There are days that stories I write touch many people, and that feels fantastic, knowing I may have helped someone that needed it.
Because that’s what it’s all about.
If there are days that I feel disappointment creeping in, or even that green-eyed monster, I’ll remember that it’s just more fuel for the fire that burns inside the heart of a writer.