In The Mind of a Kat

A messy journey through fandom, mental health and creative outlets

I am so so so excited, y’all!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on writing a fanfic, one of the longest ones I’ve ever embarked on. It’s based in a well-lored universe, and there is no limit to the information I am able to google!

‘But why is this worth all of my excitement?’ you’re undoubtedly asking yourself.

Because, dear reader, I’m learning so much about my writing style. And you know what that writing style is? It’s complete shit!

Okay, so this may not seem like something a sane person should be excited about (ha! Fooled you! I am decidedly not sane), but just hear me out. Realizing that I am shitty at something I’m passionate about means that the only way I have to go is up! With hard work and practice and seriousness, I can make progress in leaps and bounds, right?

Right???

Or maybe not. Just because I’ve recognized a problem in my writing (ex: I am horrible with using any of the senses in the story except sight) doesn’t mean that putting a lot of work into that area is going to correct the mistakes. It’s possible that I could make it worse simply by pressuring myself too much to fix my style when I’ve been doing the same thing for the last decade.

But, as with almost everything on this little ol’ website of mine, that’s the fear talking. The fear to better myself, or conversely, to fail at bettering myself is a theme that’s been playing out over and over and over again in my life and in everything I’m passionate about.

Just like with learning what I’m bad at in terms of writing, I’ve been picking apart all of the other things I love to see where I could use a little sprucing up. Drawing comes to mind, but only because I’ve recently started doing so much more in the digital world than in the physical, and that’s a brand-new territory for me. There are many other techniques I should learn, many other programs I should use, but I’ve gotten used to what I’ve been doing since forever, and I don’t have the capacity to change it right now.

How about Crossfit? I’ve been finding myself lacking in certain areas, be it shoulder mobility or just plain unwillingness to not grumble about running all the meters. These are easy things to fix in the short-term, leading to better growth and gains in the long-term, but what’s stopping me from doing it? It’s not like stretching takes out huge chunks of my day, nor does looking at running as a perfect benchmark for endurance take that much mental gymnastics to accomplish. But I still find myself struggling to change because, well, I’ve done it this long this way, so why ruin something I’m comfortable with?

That’s just it, though, isn’t it? In order to be comfortable with something, I have to do it a lot. And in order to do something a lot, I have to start doing it. With this line of logic (ha! What logic…), it makes the new task I’m trying to learn appear less daunting than anything else.

And really, I don’t have the ability to see the future. For all I know, I could be mediocre at one of my hobbies, or even great at it. But if I don’t get over the fear of failure, how will I ever know?

So that’s what I’ve been doing this past month and a half; I’ve been working on seeing my failures in a different light, both perceived and actual. Even if I do fail at something, that just gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge. If I don’t fail at everything, that just means my fears were unfounded, that my brain has been lying to me this entire time.

And if my brain has been lying to me about this, what else has it been hiding?

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