I don’t know what went wrong. Maybe I was too needy, maybe I just missed that day in learning to be a person class? Who cares? The problem is that I’m an overthinker. I think twice, I think again, I muddle it over, I brood, I fret, I stew, I look at it from a different angle, then all the other angles and then I make up some angles. The glass is half-full, half-empty, empty with lots of sludge in the bottom that I ain’t drinking, no way!
Buying our house was an exercise in overthinking brought to a whole new level and, not to brag, but I think I might have mentally broken my therapist, my realtor and several close friends. We had a house, but I hated the house. It was upside down, no, not sitting on the peak of the roof, silly, the mortgage was upside down which meant we had to sell it for a tad more than it was worth. HA! Well, we hated the place, it was hard for us to imagine that happening. After killing ourselves emotionally over that issue, we decided to buy this house — my dream house, by the way. Long story short, last night, seven months after moving in, I asked my husband, in all seriousness, “Are you sure we should have bought this house?” There was a brief struggle where I pried his hands from around my neck, then some talk of a divorce, but ultimately he reassured me that we made the right choice. And he fell back to sleep since it was 3 a.m. and he had been sleeping.
I did the same thing about starting writing and still do it now that I am officially a writer. I read a lot of books about how-to-write, which by the way, is the greatest gig in the world. Stephen King’s On Writing is considered a great example of a how to write book. You know what you could ALSO do? Read his books. Because they are how he learned to write. He wrote those books. Anyway, I love to read how-to-write books and so I did. And I still didn’t write. When I felt like writing, I read one of those books. And if I got REALLY revved up about writing, I took a writing seminar/course/conference. I took notes, I listened to how other people learned to write and I heard all about people who wrote for 25 years before selling one stinking word. I would go home definitely un-revved up and rethink the whole writing idea. Maybe I couldn’t do it after all. No matter that I wasn’t working on it, didn’t have my ass in the seat in front of the computer, putting down words. No, I was thinking it over. And over. Because I did not want to fail.
I have failed many times. I’m kind of tired of thinking about how many times I fail, but, yeah, I have that overthinking problem. So I was afraid of failing. I still am. I send out a story to an anthology, I wish I could take it back and fix it. If they accept it, I wonder if maybe it’s not such a great anthology if they accepted something I wrote. Sigh. You would think all this thinking would make me stupid and yes, it has, at times. I’ve not submitted to anthos, out of fear. I’ve erased entire stories because I think they’re not good enough.
Ultimately, I do take a wild leap of faith and send out my stories, or publish them on Amazon myself. That’s the right thing to do. The over-thinking is not good. I see people do it all the time, reading a lot of how-to-write books, talking about writing, talking to writers, but not writing. Or not sending their little babies out into the world for others to read and enjoy. Life’s short and there are too many other things vying for our attention. Writers have to just make the move and send that sucker out there. And forget about it until you hear from the editor. Then you are allowed to think about it again. Now, go write and stop thinking so much, already.