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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

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anxiety

Diary of a Socially Awkward Introvert: Compliments

The other day when I was sitting on the bus, heading home from a long day of work and a short stint of shopping, I noticed something bright blue out of the corner of my eye. As I turned I could see it was a young woman – probably close to my age – in a hijab sipping her coffee. The bright blue material matched her outfit really well and a part of my felt like I wanted to compliment her.

As I was about to open my mouth to say something, there came a voice, very faint in the back of my mind, “Don’t do it. She might think there’s something wrong with you.”

No, I think she would really like a compliment. Everybody likes compliments,” I retorted my own internal police but that didn’t stop them.

What if you stumble your words like you usually do with strangers, huh? Maybe she will take your compliment in a wrong way. Think about her position. She’s sipping her tea and relaxing… then you break that peace by talking to her. Don’t do it… it isn’t worth this list I prepared to deter you.” At that point my brain – being the jerk that it is – listed off a hundred scenarios making me settle back down into my seat.

I was given a second chance to complete the Compliment Quest when I reached my stop. It turned out the young woman in the beautiful blue hijab was getting off at the same stop. We were standing beside each other at the door, perfect time for me to say something but instead my mind was running hundreds of things I should say… rewording the compliment, figuring out ways to not come across as weird, preparing come-backs if the girl got upset.

We got off the bus and I crossed the street by 124d2gthe time my brain was satisfied with what I was going to say to her… but the opportunity was miss. She crossed the street and I was left cursing myself for being afraid to say anything while being plagued with the worry that she had noticed me staring at her and being given all the thoughts she may have been thinking about me staring.

Looking back at it now, I feel stupid for even overthinking that situation. Who would get angry at a compliment? No one, that’s who! Yet my brain decided to work overtime like it was the Enigma Machine trying to decode Nazi bombing coordinates.

The problem is I’m an amiable person… which means I’m not only a friendly person but I hate conflicts of all kinds. That means if there is potential for conflict I avoid it or try to help others avoid it at all cost. This also means that my brain considers the possibility of everything being a conflict and tries to come up with solutions to solving these possible, unrealistic, nonexistent conflicts… which sucks!

This problem doesn’t just occur when I want to say anything nice to someone but also when someone says something nice to me. First, I stiffen up because now someone is giving me attention and I hate being centred out. This engages my brain who is reminding me of my unnatural stance and it tells me that the person I’m talking to thinks I’m
strange for reacting that way… which makes me try to be calm which only makes me act weirder. Second, I have no idea what I’m supposed to say when given a compliment – which I’m trying to find an answer for while trying to act natural while trying to avoid upsetting the person that complimented me. My brain starts asking itself questions like: do I say thank you? And before I get the chance to say thank you my words are choked out by my brain’s answer: Wouldn’t thank you be too basic? And these thoughts just continue on facepalm-meme-17and on making a silence grow to an awkward length but I’m not paying attention to time because my brain is continuing it’s useless debate with itself. If I say no problem that would sound narcissistic or belittling to the person giving me the compliment. No reply would just be rude and smiling/nodding would just be weird. It is only after catching onto my complimenters body language do I realise I’ve made the situation awkward and from that point I spout out a very uncomfortable and not confident, ‘Thank you’. And if that’s just not cringe worthy enough I end it with a nervous laugh.

Be happy you aren’t in my brain. Be happy you don’t over analyse every social interaction you have with people. This is why introverts are tired after hanging out with a group and also why it takes something really important for them to leave the comfort of their home. Be glad you aren’t a socially awkward introvert… and if you are at least now you know you aren’t alone. 🙂

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 8 – Struggle

day8.jpg

Share Something You Struggle With

I think I’m not alone when I say I struggle with anxiety. I think everyone in the world struggles with this at least once in their life.

Anxiety can manifest in many different ways, but for me it’s my writing. The thing I’m so proud and so passionate to share with the world turns into my worst nightmare.

‘You wrote a book – awesome but here is everything you could have done to make it better. Here are all the things that are wrong with it, or that are missing. You forgot to add this part, or make this character do as certain thing that would have made this scene so much better. Sure, you wrote a book… but for all you know it’s the worst book in the world.’

I’ve touched upon this touch many times before (Imposter Syndrome For a Writer & Keep Calm. It is only a First Draft), and this will probably not be my last post in regards to this subject because this is something I struggle with… and sadly will probably always struggle with.

I know even if by whatever happen-stance I become the next J.K Rowling, I will still think my work isn’t good enough. In truth, it probably isn’t. In truth, there will always be things that need to be changed… and I’m sure there are things Rowling wants to change about Harry Potter even to this day no matter the success she’s had in regards to that series.

Unfortunately I’m not Rowling, and all I can do is speculate that she went through the same writer’s anxiety I have.  Imagining my favourite authors suffering the same way I have has helped me push through and continue writing. To believe I’m not alone and to write/ share this in hopes of helping someone out there feeling the same way… letting them know they aren’t alone with these feelings also pushes me to post.

The more you write the better you get. I believe that and eventually I hope to get to the point where my anxiety won’t stop me from writing. That’s a struggle I have to live with until that day actually comes.

Imposter Syndrome as a Writer

According to Google:

Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence.

This ^ is how I have been feeling over the past two weeks, which is why I haven’t been posting.

I love to write, it is what I do but I can’t fight the feeling that I am this imposter playing writer and not actually a writer…

When I review my work or take a moment to read another authors book, I can’t help to have thoughts of doubt. These nasty questions fill my head, beating me down and make me believe that what I have worked so hard for is nothing but a mediocre attempt at something I’m not.

Who would read your book? Why do you think they’d like this? You’re not a writer. Not a real writer. Your writing is crap. Your story is crap. You Are Crap!

These thoughts keep me up at night. These thoughts haunt me during the day. Mix these negative thoughts with anxiety and you get mini panic attacks whenever you think of actually publishing something.

No one’s going to buy it. Why are you even doing this? No one’s going to like it. Stop when you’re ahead.

I try to counter these thoughts and feelings with proof and try to boost my confidence with facts. I wrote 200 pages and over 77000 words. I have created a world that I love and I want to share. I brought to life characters that are funny and hopefully down-to-earth. I can’t go a day without writing. I can’t do a day without planning a story. I can’t go anywhere without getting an idea. I’m a writer.

When my confidence is up and I feel better again, then the imposter syndrome returns with a counter.

No, you’re not. J.K Rowling never talked about being an imposter. Tolkin never said he felt like this when writing. Steven Brust is an amazing writer and knows it; he never’s written how he’s felt like an imposter.

You are feeling like this because you’re not a real writer. You feel like this because deep down you know you aren’t a writer. Just give up. No one will care

These were my thoughts for a week. Haunting my mind and killing my confidence in my writing… I started believing they were true and thinking that I could just not publish but then I saw this quote:

afraid

This quote shut those voices up. I’m not confident in my writing. Sharing my writing with strangers scares the crap out of me, not because I’m not good enough but for the reason that I’m sharing a piece of me. I’m sharing a world I love, that I’m giving to this world to pick apart. I’m sharing characters I gave life, for this world to judge and analyse. I’m sharing a story that may cause arguments, or discussion with people who don’t agree with what I’ve written.

I know now, I’m not an imposter.

I can write.

I do write.

I will keep writing even if it scares me to death because I love to write.

 

 

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