Thumper

I realize I’ve been a little quiet the last week, which is unusual for me. I have been in Texas since last Saturday working on revisions and proofreading the revisions I have finished. It’s been exhausting and exhilarating. Why Texas? I am originally from the Lonestar State, and both sets of grandparents live in our former hometown. It’s a great place to occupy my son while I am pushing through to finish my novel. I am pushing through everything right now. Through my tired eyes. Through my aching shoulder. Through the other things I could be doing, and the missing my New York apartment and my sweet son who is happily engaged with his family.

Mostly, I am pushing through self-doubt. I think this is a normal emotion to struggle with in the face of rewrites, and the finish line. I had it nicely boxed up inside the corner of my mind reserved for those sorts of thoughts (my weight insecurities and parenting shortcomings also live there) until yesterday. Yesterday I had an experience I would rather not elaborate, but only say, I began to fear my own talent, the positive feedback I’d received from multiple sources, and the truth that I really, really believe this book is worth publishing.

The reason I will not elaborate is I refuse to be one of those people who wears their heart on their sleeve. I refuse to express my anger and frustration at an individual person in a blog that can be read by anyone. I think someone should put this person in line, but I will not be the girl to do it.

I will, however, be the girl to tell you that you can never allow one asshole’s opinion to affect you for more than a glass of wine and a good cry. I do think you should have that glass of wine and good cry, that is super healthy and smart. But after that, and I mean right after, get your ass up and keep moving. Remember what you know to be true. Remember that you can never please everyone. When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me — with her hands on my shoulders: “If everyone likes what you’re doing then you’re doing something wrong.” She was also the one to encourage me to remember what Thumper’s mother said: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I am still reminding myself of this today.

I am remembering it as I tell you to forget critics and remember only true critique. I am remembering it as I curse those who think they know more than Jesus, and may know a lot, but who can still be blind and foolish enough to make asinine statements in an offhand way. Those people are invited to bite me. I do realize that was not something nice to say and have chosen to say it anyway.

I think you have to find kindreds in your life and remember not everyone will be one. Not everyone is super creative or good at knowing their own mind. Some must be told what they like. Those are the ones who followed the popular girls around school and who now ride the coattails of someone else’s brilliance. There is need for those kind of people in life. I will readily admit that. I will also readily admit that I really, really don’t care to be one of them. But that is sort of off point. I am trying to be edifying.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you too wrestle with self-doubt, remember that self-doubt can cripple you into never putting yourself out there. Don’t let it. Let it wash over you and remind you of your self-confidence, your self-worth, and your uniqueness. (Have a glass of wine and cry, too, if you like that sort of thing.)

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6 thoughts on “Thumper

  1. Good honest words Rebekah. There’s good fire here that reminds all if us to press through the criticism and bring forth the work of art.

    • I had a draft of this post that was rather nasty. I am glad to say I also pushed through publishing that. I also want to tell you I have not forgotten to email you back, I will be doing that shortly. 🙂

  2. I’m glad that you didn’t stay inside that nasty comment, whatever it was! I’m a pretty picky reader, and I KEEP reading your blog…….so… I wouldn’t call mine an “expert opinion”, but it is certainly a “well informed” one. Push through and finish that book and just know that there are people out here (people with pretty tenuous connections to you) who are waiting for a chance to read it.

  3. Glad you decided to get up off your “ass” and keep going, girl! Good for you! We all plow through insecurities of one kind of another – or several of them!

    I am 68, soon to be 69 (this Sunday) and have to plow through insecurities. I look at it this way, if you aren’t a threat to the devil, he wouldn’t be trying to keep you from accomplishing God’s goals in your life! You do know that he really hates Jeremiah 29:11, don’t you?

    I may not be a “professional critic,” but I do know what I like, and I like, no I love your writing! So don’t stop!

    Bless you, honey! Keep the spirit behind that red hair going strong, and kick the devil in the ass! I do this, although, at my age, I can’t kick as high as I used to! 🙂

    Oh yes, on those insecurities about being a good mom…that little guy couldn’t be the sweet, loving, happy little guy he is if he didn’t have loving parents!

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