After two weeks of sick children, I am just too tired to see the days pass. Hence why I forgot to blog for a couple of days. At the same time, I didn’t want to push myself with it because I’ve noticed that even self-imposed tasks make you feel like a failure when you don’t do them, no matter how reasonable the excuse.
The thing is, I always have a feeling that it’s not good enough. Surely, I could have done better. But it comes back to the issue of willpower, doesn’t it?
Willpower, however, is controversial. Ultimately, some people have the determination and others don’t. Still, a few years ago, after my first child, I was doing this exercising program called Slim in 6, which was really good, I have to say, and the woman who ran the program wrote somewhere that willpower can be trained too.
Only yesterday or the day before did this click in with a lot of the stuff I’ve been learning since I started therapy a few years ago. Willpower is not an inherent thing. You’re not born with it. What happens, though, is that if you manage to do the things long enough, it becomes a habit. And once things become a habit, you don’t need the so called willpower. The thing is, your brain is wired the way it’s wired and it’s different for you than it is for me. Saying that things only take willpower is a gross generalisation that only achieves to make you feel bad about yourself if you’re not doing whatever it is you’re meant to be doing. Because everybody is wired differently, meaning everybody has developed their own habits and coping mechanisms, everybody will need different steps to make changes. Powering through, another way to say willpower, might not work for them and obviously it doesn’t work for everybody.
The issue with willpower also is that it’s all or nothing. You either do and you’re successful or you don’t and you’ve failed. Change can’t be achieved, I feel, overnight, hence a black or white behaviour can’t be the solution to any problem.
And I think humans are too complex for one sudden change to fix everything that might possibly be wrong with us. In the case of my particular battle with BED, there are many changes that need to be done and I can’t imagine doing them all at once. Being more compassionate and loving with myself is only one of those steps.
It doesn’t help, though, that my goal is to be a published author. Every writer will tell you they are riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing because they’re never satisfied with what they write. That’s why we need so much validation and that’s why we hesitate to say we are writers. ‘I’m trying to be a writer’ or ‘I’d like to write’ (as if we didn’t write yet). Only a couple of days ago a woman in the OU Write Club Society shared a post about what makes a writer. She had read somewhere that a ‘real writer’ (because now it’s not enough to be a writer, you have to be a real one, there might even be a writer lite, somewhere and then a writer Pro, and writer pro deluxe, why not) you had to need to write. First I interrogated myself. Do I need to write or do I just write because I like stories?
I’ll tell you the truth, writing for me it’s like cooking. I like cooking because I like eating. Really, I don’t like the cooking, I just like the eating. Writing is the same to a point. I have stories in my head and because I get random scenes and the story doesn’t advance in my imagination alone, I have to write it so I know how it continues. I do the writing because I like the stories.
This thought process happened in a tenth of a second, by the way. The next tenth was occupied with me feeling bad because I wasn’t a ‘real writer’.
On the next tenth I dismissed all that. Yes, I am calling bullshit on that definition of what it is to be a ‘real writer’.
A writer writes. And that’s that. If you write, whether you love it, you love the stories or you find some sort of emotional release by doing it, you are a writer. You might not be a good one or even a published one, but damn it, you’re a writer.
And so am I.