Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG: Battling Demons and Relief


(As always, thank you, Alex, for being the head of this awesome group)


Have you ever had these thoughts?


Why try?

What’s the point when nothing positive is happening?

I work and work and work, and all I get is slammed in the face. I thought I had talent, but I must be wrong. I’m delusional. Why am I doing this again? Everyone around me is making it happen, having success, but I seem to be the only person who struggles. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe I’m not strong enough.

Am I that awful?


But do you also have thoughts like this?


know I can do this.

So many little things have happened in life that tells me I’m supposed to do this. Look how far I’ve come since I first started. I’ve grown leaps and bounds! It really is the people who stick with it and keep trying who make it. I do have that extra something it takes to create magic. It doesn’t matter what’s happening with anyone else, I know my work has worth.

I’m not completely horrible.

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I think for the most part, I’ve come to accept the demons inside my head—mostly because I’ve learned it’s normal as a writer. I’ve learned to ride the wave… there are awesome “up” moments (that last fleetingly) before the long waves of hard work set in. And that’s what it comes down to.

Doing the work.

Simple as that. :)

No, I’m not where I want to be yet, but I also know that the only reason I’ve learned what I’ve learned and accomplished the things I’ve accomplished so far is because I’ve WORKED. I wish it were as easy as dreaming… as having enough passion to just will things to happen. But at the same time I don’t because it wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying in the end. It’s a twisted thing, living inside the writer’s mind. ;)

Now this is the part where I usually say we can't let these dark thoughts eat us up. How they're so easy to give in to, and dwelling on the negative only paralyzes us and stifles our creativity. But I'm still kind of in a funk, so I'm going to skip that part and share with you something that quickly reminds me what is really important. 

This is a song sung by my brother, Clayton, and accompanied by my other brother, Marshall, and his friend Steve. There's something about this song that makes me forget all the trivial things in life and makes me really zone in on what's most important. Few songs do that, but this does. I hope you enjoy. 


61 comments:

  1. That was beautiful, Morgan. I've had one of those terrible no good days where all I want to do is run away from this stupid dream and not look back. Writing is so so hard, but it will make the reward that much sweeter. I really needed this reminder. Thank you!

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  2. For me they come and go. I always have to push through so I can get the confidence back. Great post.

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  3. I've been in that funk, we all have. you'll crawl out, but you already know that! You're amazing :) *hugs* Beautiful song!

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  4. That's a beautiful song :) Your brothers and their friend are very talented!!! It's great to read the full version of this post (and not the tiny excerpt on my blog feed ;) ) but it's so true and slightly depressing. Because over and over I keep feeling, "FOR GOSH'S SAKE, JUST FAST FORWARD TIME AND GET MY BOOK OUT," because I do trust it'll happen, sometime, but I need to put the work in first. That line really spoke to me, that we can't just wish it happen, and our passion isn't enough :) Thank you so much!

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  5. I do know what you're talking about. Dragon experience it too sometimes. That's a beautiful song.

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  6. It is indeed a beautiful song, Morgan. Like you, I battle doubts and feelings of failure. If we give up, we will guarantee failure. Like David did with Goliath, we must race TOWARDS the giant enemy in our lives. Life is a race that only the valiant win. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. :-)

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  7. We all have these feelings no matter where we are on the path to publication. Fortunately it's no longer a secret, because our wonderful friends who are ahead of us tells us of their woes, so we can be prepared. :D

    I'm going to do IWSG next month.

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  8. Lovely song, talented family!

    Those feeling do haunt - but soon the determination outweighs the negative and you move forward - I did and it's paid off. Don't ever, ever give up. I almost did several times, but I'm so glad I didn't!

    The IWSG rocks!

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  9. This is why we all need to stop looking at each other to gauge our success and instead look at how far we have come. We are all racing against ourselves, not each other.

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  10. About that first part...where'd you get a hold of my diary? And you didn't read the whole thing, did you?

    And about the rest...it's very, very true, and very well put.

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  11. Though I've felt the spectre of the doubt monster many times since finding out long books aren't in vogue in the U.S. currently, as well as feeling out of fashion in the writing world for other reasons, I've never doubted I have talent. Having been praised so much by so many teachers, classmates, and people in Creative Writing Club probably went to my head a long time ago, though I know I've grown a lot as a writer since I was a child, preteen, and teenager!

    It reminds me a bit of a famous story of a rabbi named Zushe. His most important concern, in the next life, wasn't going to be answering the question "Why were you not more like Moses?" but rather "Why were you not more like Zushe?" Even if he didn't measure up to one of the greatest spiritual figures, he could at least be true to himself to the best of his ability.

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  12. Morgan, there is some wicked talent in your family!

    About that nasty funk - it's awful, but you'll get through it. You always do, because you want to keep moving forward. I feel like I've watched you gain more and more strength in the time I've known you! And I'll be right here, cheering you on with my pom-poms! :D

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  13. Hey, my comment from last night is gone...
    Just keep pressing forward. You'll make it if you don't quit.

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  14. There is so much in life that is just about sitting down and doing it. I think it helps if we remember writing (and life) is a journey. We never arrive, we are only becoming. So keep becoming, keep moving, and already you've won. The only failure is to sit still and go nowhere.

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  15. Thanks for sharing your brother's music with us. Inspiration to keep moving forward is important and often I too have found it in music.

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  16. Dude-ette,

    I'll keep it simple.

    There is no other Writing Partner for me - and you ROCK like the Grand Canyon.


    Shiny. Red-From-Too-Much-Sun. Head. Out.

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  17. Steven's comment rings so true...we really are fighting against ourselves at times aren't we?

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  18. All one can do is keep trying something new. If any such thoughts pop in my head, I tell myself to shut up and put them to bed.

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  19. Beautiful song!

    I feel like your post was the same theme, different version of the before school pep talk I gave my daughter this morning.

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  20. What a sweet, tender and genuine post Morgan. I love your heart. Why is it such an easy pattern to fall into all the icky, toxic feelings that eat at our dreams? In my better moments, I remember that I have a calling and purpose in life and the efforts and vision aren't all about my ego or control, but are led by God. Thanks for the reminder. I'm enjoying listening to the song as I type my response here and feel so confirmed by my heart. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Really. We need to get together and chat. I have days where I feel like giving up ALL THE TIME. But I keep going because I have to. Not writing is NOT an option. :)

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  22. I'm listening to your brother as I write this. Such an inspirational piece, Shamy. I feel both the thoughts you wrote about. All the time there's a battle raging, and moments that I almost succumb. I draw strength from the words of others, like you.

    And I love you for correctly writing, "I wish it were as easy as dreaming..." That, if nothing else, tells me you're a true writer.

    Peace,
    M.L. Swift, Writer

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  23. I truly understand where you're coming from, Morgan. Having my own share of demons to deal with recently was anything but easy, but we are the ones who get to decide in the end. Negativity wins only when we give in. And you're a rockstar. Next time those demons whisper in your ear, tell them I said "back off." :)

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  24. Oh, some days I wish it were as easy as dreaming...But, yeah, the satisfaction comes from doing the work even on the days when those bad writer demons are all you can hear. Somehow they tend to go away faster that way. :)

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  25. Oh you are surrounded by beautiful men with beautiful voices doing beautiful things. Great song! I'm so jealous.

    And you are super uber talented Morgan! Sheesh. Slap that insecurity in the face. Sometimes it takes a while for the world to get your genius :)

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  26. All the time. Yes I share those thoughts and just try not to get hindered too much by the negativity and propelled forward by what I know is within me and the good things that I know can be.

    The song was performed beautifully.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  27. It's awful when those thoughts invade our minds, but unfortunately you can't have the good without the bad. We'll all get there in the end, but like you said, it's going to take a lot of hard work first! :)

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  28. What a beautiful song, Morgan. Do you think it's in the water? It's kind of been a bad month I think. *hugs*

    I've read your writing. You need to be doing this.

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  29. That song made me tear up.

    I think those demons are really normal. I don't know if they're a part of the process for everyone, and I definitely feel like people all around me are better, and succeeding effortlessly. When I start to feel that way, I remind myself that the differences are the important part. I know people who love the plains (I can't stand them), and I know people who wouldn't leave the ocean if they knew a tsunami was coming for them.

    When I'm buried in the unhappy feels, I try to remind myself that my journey is different for a reason. Maybe I needed more bumps so I could write a different book. Maybe my pain can save someone else, or maybe make it easier for someone else to bear later. You'll get there, and someone will thank you for writing the book that pulled them through darkness, even if that wasn't what you meant.

    Good luck, and your brother is very sweet.

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  30. This must be a universe thing cause it seems like all us writers are going through these tough times. lol. I told my friend about my frustrations and she immediately said, "sounds like a time for some positive affirmations." And I agreed--so I started to affirm that I am a good writer, and I have an endless supply of creativity, and it really helped!

    Loved the song! <3

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  31. You're in a funk? I'm in a funk too! Let's be in a funk together :) Also, we need to go to ice cream now that my fam is out of town!

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  32. I'm sure we've all had and will have again those dark days of continuing doubts. Then,for me, the story starts to talk to me again, and I know this is what I'm meant to do. Wishing for you that the funk passes quickly and doesn't come back for a long time!

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  33. You just have to get tough with those dark thoughts, grab them by the back of the collar and the seat of their pants, and toss them head first out the door! You the sheriff!

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  34. I have both of those thoughts going through my head on a loop, but usually the first one most often. Right now the the "why bother?" thought is kind of swirling around my head, but mostly because I'm tired and need to catch my breath. So sorry to hear that you're in a funk. Hope it gets better, Morgan! :-)

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  35. I have both of those thoughts going through my head on a loop, but usually the first one most often. Right now the the "why bother?" thought is kind of swirling around my head, but mostly because I'm tired and need to catch my breath. So sorry to hear that you're in a funk. Hope it gets better, Morgan! :-)

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  36. hey Morgan,

    You know, when my dad died, I went into a funk for awhile too. I quit tweeting and blogging, and I'm sure my writing was spordic too. I think it's normal to take some time to greive and move through things in your own mind, but don't ever doubt that you're talented. email anytime,
    Lisa

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  37. Holy bananas, your family is crazy talented, Morg!!! Sorry you're still in a funk--it's crazy how we can get stuck in these ruts. You know I've had way too many "why bother" moments, lol!! But that song is so great, and you're right--it's VITAL to keep in perspective what really matters, even though it can be so hard to do, and mostly, SO hard to accept!! Hugs!!

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  38. What a beautiful song. What a beautiful voice! So true and yes, I suffer from these negative thoughts too often. It can be paralyzing if you let them. So what do you say we kick this funk in the butt and move forward. If anyone can do it, you can. (:

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  39. Wishing doesn't make it happen. It has to be more than a wish, more than even a need. It has to be a burning desire.

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  40. Oh goodness, I got teary just from thinking of the brothers & friend performing together...and then I listened to the song. Where's a tissue?!? So beautiful and true. We're just passing through and how we play this game is so much more important than anything else. This writing thing ain't for sissies, that's fo sho.

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  41. Oh I completely understand what you are talking about... we all experience it, but hey its probably making us better, right? lol

    Beautiful song, your brothers & friend are awesome ;)

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  42. Fantastic post. I think the difference between writers and published writers is that the published ones keep pushing through even with the demons poking at them.

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  43. That IS a beautiful song, Morgan.
    I hope you feel better soon.

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  44. Hey Morgan,

    First of all, even though it aint gangsta' rap, I is liking that song by yo bro! :)

    I know that my human when he's overwhelmed by a negative environment, the more resilient and determined he becomes. You understand that you have to go at your own pace. Set your pattern so that you maintain workable segments to reach your ultimate goal. Now then, I'm going to leave you probably the longest comment y'all ever did see. Look below this, my human friend.

    Motivation, the driving force behind your desire to accomplish a goal in your life. Motivation is the ability to inspire others and yourself to achieve or maintain a more positive life.

    1 : Take small steps : Set and achieve mini-goals with the focus on a major goal. Succeeding at mini-goals, helps reinforce further motivation.

    2 : See things through : A partially finished project is of no use to anybody. Quitting can become a habit. Instil the habit of finishing projects.

    3 : Favourable friends : The attitude of your friends can influence your attitude. If they can't be bothered to make an effort, there is a possibility you will be the same way. Thus, if you want to progress, you have to be surrounded by people who want to progress and encourage your progression. Favourable friends will motivate you and you will motivate them.

    4 : Learn new skills : New goals may require the acquisition of new knowledge. The learning of new skills can enhance your motivation to realise your major goal or goals.

    5 : Fifteen minutes a day : You don't have to spend hours and hours to accomplish goals. You may discover that the greatest progress is the sum total of a series of small efforts. Try and spend about fifteen minutes each day doing something that gets you closer to realising your goal.

    6 : Take a venture : Yes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Failure can be the motivation behind learning from your mistakes. Mistakes do not define you. What you learn from your mistakes, defines you.

    7 : Positive affirmations : Remind yourself of your goals everyday. Have a one-sentence affirmation for your goals. Using such an affirmation can keep you focused on the visualisation of your goal. It can become a natural way of thinking.

    8 : Break your goals down : Goals can be given up on because they seem overwhelming. If your goals seem to be a daunting prospect, it's a good idea to break them down into smaller, realistic, achievable tasks.

    9 : Get it written down : To see your goals written down and the progress you're making, will help motivate and help your chances of making your goals come to fruition.

    10 : Review your goals : Ask yourself challenging questions. If the progress towards your goal is not as you would of hoped for, what's impeding your progress? It may well be that your priorities have altered and a particular goal may no longer seem applicable. You might consider a rethink and concentrate your energy of a goal more conducive to how you are now.

    11 : Treat yourself : Each occasion you achieve a goal, give yourself a reward. Knowing that you are going to have a treat at the end of your goal, is quite the motivation.

    12 : Savour the moment and enjoy your success : Validate the fact that you have achieved your goal. Take time out to really enjoy and reflect upon your accomplishment. This will help invigorate you and renew your energetic enthusiasm to move on with other goals. Positive momentum, indeed!

    Through faith, hope, willingness, support and friendship, we are motivated. To be motivated you must have a genuine desire. Motivation is about focused dedication to gain a positive outcome. Motivation continues through inspiration from others and inspiration from within. We can all motivate each other to realise our goals.

    Stay chillin',

    Snoop Bloggy Dog in da Gangsta's Pawadise!

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    1. Oh yeah, I had to remove some of my comment, my human friend, cause it had too many characters. Whatever that means!

      Stay chillin',

      Snoop Bloggy Dog in da Gangsta's Pawadise!

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  45. Morgs, I feel your pain. I'm in a funk pretty much everyday of my life. There are ups every once in a while and I love them.

    You said it perfectly: It’s a twisted thing, living inside the writer’s mind.

    Isn't it though. We are so creative, but so judgmental against ourselves. That's a sucky thing to do.

    But I guess that's what creative people do. We move on though and hopefully will find whatever success is waiting at the end of the rope.

    I love the song you posted. I'm listening to it as I type. Beautiful!

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  46. It's so hard to get of our own way sometimes. I've learned that if write too much to my arbitrary goals and benchmarks (I need __# of readers/downloads with my next release or I'm failing, I can't be worse than the last time or they'll call me a fraud, I need to be traditionally published to be respected, no one will take me seriously until I publish a novel, etc., etc.) as it keeps me from loving the writing. AND YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE WRITING! Just too many days when it's all you'll have to show for your effort. So love your words. :)

    Awesome post, Morgan, as always.

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  47. I'm starting to think having those demons in your head are a requirement for being a good writer. I guess if we didn't constantly struggle, our writing would never improve and might even lack conflict and insight into the way the world really works. I'll keep telling myself that anyway!

    Thanks for sharing this, Morgan! It helps SO much to know that others find this whole process to be a frustrating ride as well! :)

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  48. How did you get in my head? lol Yes, we have to keep going, get out of our way and continue the coaster ride~

    I think all artists go through this. I usually have 24hrs of feeling good about an article before I crash. Someone else gets this or that and I'm back down on the ground again struggling to ride the wave, the coaster to the top. It is part of the process. Thanks Morgan for a wonderful post~

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  49. Such a talented family! Thanks for sharing the music, along with your thoughts and insecurities. I often feel like EVERYONE else keeps accomplishing great writing successes. Truth is, all these other people have felt that way too. Right? I think so. Gulp. I need to hear the song again.

    Smiles.
    Keep faith, Morgan.

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  50. Wow, I'm amazed by that video and song. Made me cry! Your insecurities? I feel them myself. All. The. Time. Thankfully we all have each other to spill and share :)

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  51. My positive thoughts outweigh the negatives ones...but those negative ones are ugly. I'm going to keep on going.

    I love the song. Such a great voice.

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  52. What a beautiful song! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    How are things with the book? I seriously can't wait to read it!!

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  53. I am speechless! Such incredible talent in your family! Your parents are so very blessed. I wish I had that growing up. I was the only creative one trapped in a blue color world. Obstacles have haunted me since my birth. Perhaps that is why I keep pushing myself, and YOU MUST TOO! NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF, MORG...

    You are so young and gifted. Your talents are many. Not just writing, but dancing, your zest for life, and especially your true belief in MAGIC! Never let that go. It's kept me alive. An honest belief in beauty, creativity, nature, and love. What more do we need, really? You have such abundance in something else too, LOVE! You are a most fortunate woman to have a family who loves you. Their love will continue in the generations to come.

    The arts are NOT easy, It takes YEARS of training ... look at me, I'm further behind you in my writing and I'll never give up because I must master this. And when I do, music will be my next challenge (piano... so my wrist BETTER HEAL properly! lol)

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  54. That was a powerful song and so beautifully sung. I don't know if those demons will eve go away, but I'm just trying to work on tuning them out. Let them say what they will; I don't have to listen. Writing is hard, but you're right, if it were easy, we wouldn't appreciate it nearly as much.

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  55. Those doubt filled voices majorly suck. I know they're never fully go away, but it certainly is nice when they take a lasting break. Or even a short one :) Hope your funk moves on soon!

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  56. Tell those stupid demon voices to shut it! No good comes from listening to them.

    What a beautiful song. Talent runs in your family Morgan. Just believe in yourself and your amazing talent, all will be well.

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  57. I have those same feelings! Always makes me feel better to know talented people like you suffer every now and then too.

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  58. You definitely need to listen to the positive voice and let it drown out the negative one! I agree about the hard work.

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