Since I made the decision to be a full-time writer, I have been voraciously researching, tracking, and working at it 24/7. Well, almost 24/7 --a girl has to break to eat and socialize --y’all know good food along with good company is a top priority of mine.
I’ve become obsessive about making this work: listening to webinars, visiting blogs and Instagram pages, I’m reading two books right now… I am putting in the work.
However, when my mind isn’t distracted by my goal and it’s quiet, my thoughts volley back and forth between: What am I doing?! Can I really do this? and You’ve got this!
A few years ago, I was at a dinner party chatting with an older woman about my writing and I incredulously tell her, “My dad is always telling me to write a book about my life.”
And she so easily and nonchalantly replies, “Yeah, why would someone want to read that?”
The words that stick with you.
As I’m writing this blog, I keep asking myself that: Why would someone want to read about my journey?
I try to drown out the nagging, doubtful voices and naysayers with loads of positivity --with the help of friends, my dad, and motivational pages on Instagram (I screenshot inspiring Instagram posts to easily refer back to and send to friends, like the message on my photo up top). I am constantly reminding myself that to succeed you have to be the hardest working person in the room --or at least try. And I am trying.
As 311’s song, “All Mixed Up” goes: “Fuck the naysayers ’cause they don’t mean a thing…”
In my interview with 311’s Nick Hexum, he told me he never had a backup plan, ever -- it was music or bust.
Surprisingly, interviewing celebrities has helped quiet those negative voices. How? Because sometimes they show me their souls, they show me that that sort of success is achievable, and that even though they’ve attained fame, fortune, and seem to have picture-perfect lives, they are just like us and have their doubts, struggles, demons…
During my interview with Orange is the New Black star Diane Guerrero, we were talking about her struggles shared in her book, “In the Country We Love: My Family Divided” and I asked her how she overcame them. In addition to self-care (therapy), she replies:
“That [therapy] and just being like, To hell with it --y'know? Stop caring so much about the unknown, and stop caring so much about what people think, stop caring so much about whether you're going to fail or not. So a lot of guts --saying, ‘Fine, let me see what happens.’
Even going to therapy is brave and realizing and telling yourself, I need help or I need help from my community or I need help from a friend. We spend so much time trying to hide these truths from people, when you know you can just make a simple decision to say I need help or I’m hurting. To be vulnerable in that way is difficult, but I feel like there's always going to be someone who is going through the same thing. Who’s going to understand you and is always willing to help, and with that, we heal a lot faster than just sitting there in your pain. I know because I did it for a very long time...
I find myself in this predicament. This didn't work out, that didn't work out. Man, I really wanted that scholarship. I really wanted that job. I really wanted that TV show. OK, what do I do now from here to build on that? And almost every single time, things get better. Sometimes they don’t and just take a little longer. We've got to figure it out.
I'm tired as hell, I’ll tell you that much [laughs] --tired of working so hard. Although, that’s just going to be it, for the rest of my life, just always going to work hard. That’s my MO. I was like, ‘Just for once, I would like something a little easier.’ But see, you put that in perspective to people who are really struggling and it's like, ‘Yo, you do have it easy.’ You know? I'm comparing myself to people who I see, just, I would love to be them and would love to have their career, and it's like, God!”
When I asked about her summer plans (our interview was May 2018), she replies:
“Right now, I'm focusing on what the hell my next job is going to be, because as soon as I heard that my show [Superior Donuts] wasn’t getting picked up, I was freaking out. I'm like, ‘Oh my God. That’s it. My career is over.’ Of course, my agents have to remind me, ‘No, you're OK. Think of what your next moves are. You're not in a terrible place, it's not like all the work that you did and everything that you’ve done for the last few years means nothing. You're not starting from zero and you're starting from a good place. You’re a professional and you can handle this.’ So right now, it's just setting up my plan to try to get a new job or to see what my next project is going to be.” [Read our full interview here.]
UPDATE: Diane landed the role of Crazy Jane in DC’s upcoming TV show, Doom Patrol, premiering February 15, 2019. Congrats, Diane! Can’t wait to see it.
These are some of the words that stick with me, motivate me --even the negative ones.