Friday, September 04, 2009


Yes, I know the last entry was entitled "Inspiration."
No, I didn't remember that when I woke up this morning thinking about my most recent rejection letter.

Lately, I've been uncovering, discovering and trying to be honest with/about my deep, deep core under-beliefs. My secret beliefs, the beliefs that are not shaken by evidence, by logic, even by experience (unless any of those three contribute to the belief, but not if they prove the belief wrong). The kind of beliefs that are real trouble unless they get seriously called out and worked with, because they defy the surface level games of the mind.

For instance, Rejection (Letters):
Surface level: "The publisher said the kids' stories aren't defined in age and she doesn't see a market. This is the highest up we've gone with these and at least the artist gave good feedback! Go Miriam! You have gotten rejection before, and also been accepted, these weren't your first thing you wanted to get out there anyway. Just go back to work on the Family Matters chapbook and getting that out there. It's ok. The time will come."

Under belief: "You suck."

It's the sound of the critic, the sound of deep ego bruised by someone else's opinion. It's simple and dumb, it doesn't need sophisticated logic or understanding. It doesn't care - it just plain thinks I suck regardless of the evidence, it just keeps quiet until someone rejects me, then reflects that back, millionfold.

Yes, it does help to write that, to know that others will read it and relate. And yet, it's true, a part of me, underneath, even deeper now, still believes it:
"The stories got rejected because you aren't a good writer."

And even now, typing this, I see how absurd that is, how it flies in the face of other things I believe, truly believe, not just on the surface. Yet, it still holds power, swaying power like a snake in a charmer's basket.

It's not something to fix. I'm not going to "fix" it anytime soon. Just observing it feels like a big deal. A lot of the power goes out of its sails when I write about it, when I call it out, especially if I can do it with equanimity. For now, that's true. And today? I'll politely reply to the email, which has haunted my inbox for three days now, waiting for a wide open day like today to leap out at me and taunt me, and get back to the "drawing" board. In the end, the deep end, that's what it takes.


  1. The fact that you know that your secret thoughts are defied by logic makes you one step ahead of the game. I know what you mean though, I changed my first college major because of a mean spirited professor and the fact that I tend to weigh criticism greater than compliments.
    Hang in there, and if you have days that get you down - I'm sure you already know that's it's those days that make you stronger as a person and as a writer.
    You're a beautiful artist with a lot of insight, and I don't even know you that well.......

  2. Thanks! I appreciate it, and you're right - really just in the last week have I figured out that these beliefs are de-powered a lot just by my recognizing they seem almost impossible to deflate...

    We all weigh criticism more than compliments, or most of us do. And the saying "you are your own worst critic," really relies on the actual or potential criticisms of others. Feeding the fire.

    I appreciate your ongoing contact, Crystal, and wicked awesomeness.