Maybe You Should Fret

Maybe I fret too much. Sure. Fret. Sounds like a knot to me. A knot I can’t possibly undo.

If no one says anything about my stories, I think the stories are bad. Or at least failures. Or boring. Or something generally not nice. If someone says something nice, I think awesome and OMG I’ll never manage that again. They shall be so disappointed. If someone says something bad…well, I try not to think about it.

This is a lose/lose situation.

You know what else is lose/lose? Sleep deprivation. Which I am experiencing and which is going to make me draw this post to a close.

But first a question: Why do you think some people tie themselves into knots and others don’t? Why do some people accept a compliment and other foolishly react to them? Nature or nurture? What?!

And last, I’ve finished (kind of) story 29.


12 thoughts on “Maybe You Should Fret

  1. I’m a worrier too and not only a knot-tier extraordinaire but also a Master Digger of Holes.

    A Digger of Holes is one who stops digging when they’re getting too deep, whereas a Master Digger of Holes keeps right on digging in the unshakable belief that he will fix it by coming out the other side.

    I think it’s a mix of things…. Nature, certainly has a great deal to do with it, and so does Nurture, but it’s also a whole lifetime of experiences piling up on one side of the scales or the other. It starts from childhood, which is why I believe the most precious thing you can give a child is confidence and belief in themselves.

    All too often, usually well-meaning criticism starts the insecurities many of us carry like a rolling stone gathering moss. I have a friend who was always brought up to think he was the Dog’s Bollocks, and trusted to do things well all his life. I was brought up with, “Don’t touch it, Kevin, you’ll break it”.

    Guess who has gone through his life with a huge belief in himself, doesn’t worry, and expects everything to go well, and guess who has lived his life largely with the opposite philosophy?

    Next time you (whoever you are) criticise a child for some endeavour or another, or even don’t comment at all (which can be just as bad), just hold up and think for a second, and then give that kid what you’d love to hear if you were that kiddie.

    Words are building blocks, ……but they can be termites too
    K.x {:o)

    1. Well, maybe your Dog’s Bollocks friend isn’t as interesting as you. Is he a writer?

      I try to say the right things to my child, the building blocks, the everything he ought to have to be happy…and not be a smug git! Well, you know. I have a great kid, but I’m still surprised when he ties himself up in his own knots. Sigh.

      If you do come out the other side, please send a postcard.

  2. A favorite bit of trivia (well, trivial to this non-guitar player): those little raised wire-type things inset crosswise — perpendicular to the strings themselves — into the neck of a guitar are called “frets.” As your picking hand strums along, the fingers and thumb of the other hand are lying across the strings up at the neck, pressing them against various frets to change the notes (pitch, vibrato, etc.).

    Suddenly a writer’s frets don’t seem so useless to me! Maybe fiddling with them isn’t writing, and maybe fiddling with them sometimes gets in the way of whatever tune is being played at the (computer) keyboard. I guess it’s possible to become so obsessed with one’s fretwork on a guitar that one lets the picking/strumming part go to hell, too. But you can’t do the whole thing — play a whole song — without fretting some. 🙂

    (Every now and then, when someone close to me is depressed, I’ll hear a third party telling him/her something like “Come on! Cheer up! All you need to do is get outside/watch a funny movie/get a pet/stop moping/consider the lilies of the field/whatever!” This advice is always well-meant. And sometimes it may be true. But it’s not always true for everyone: someone clinically depressed, for instance, may be only further depressed by his/her inability to live up to the cheerful expectations of others. I bring this up now because I don’t want you to think my — anyone’s — advice not to fret may always be good, useful advice. Sometimes, I worry (ha!) that it’s just prolonging the attention given to stuff other than writing. I bet when you’re actually in the act of writing, you’re not in an agony of indecision. That act of writing and that unconscious state of confidence are, really, all that count.)

    1. I’d forgotten that about guitar strings. Hmmm.

      Well, you never know. Some advice works with some people and not with others, or with those certain people only under particular circumstances, etc. And sometimes the same advice given by two different people—-one person gives the advice in just the way and the other person makes it sound terrible. And even then, some advice ignored or taken the wrong way might change in a person’s mind over time and be just the right thing.

      My problem with some advice is that it doesn’t seem to really be advice as much as criticism (this I usually hear in the parenting realm). But I appreciate well-meant especially from someone who knows where I’m coming from and understands.

      Must go fret now.

    2. Oh boy…. you hit the nail on the head there re. depression.
      Wise indeed……..

      Depression from stress at work had just finally got so bad I’ve told them to shove the job of some 38 years. This is a ‘hidden’ condition, and those who’ve not experienced it just don’t get it. Yes, they’re all well meaning in their advice, but all back away like it’s catching when you can’t respond to that advice and ‘snap out of it’ (If only!).

      Unemployed now, but very luckily saved enough dosh to survive for maybe 18 months if I keep the spending nailed to the planks, but oh-so ‘stuck’ at the same time.

      I know this is a golden opportunity to write and get that off the ground somehow, so am trying to foster something resembling ‘action’…… writing to my all-over-the-place-blog would help for starters. (sigh)

      I WILL be a writer, I WILL!!!! {:o)

  3. Ha ha…. No, he isn’t a writer… far from it. One of my oldest friends, but getting a reply to an email is like pulling teeth. That’s where THAT much belief in you gets you (sometimes anyway)….. everyone comes to you, and you feel no need reciprocate as much, unless it’s in your interests. That’s not meant to sound bitter and twisted because I love the guy (In a buddy, manly sortta way), but something I’ve noticed as a common characteristic in those really full of confidence and success.

    I’ve never had kiddies, although I do like kids (not the disrespectful monsters you can get these days though!), but I do know it’s the hardest thing to do in bringing them up to adulthood. Don’t for pity’s sake see what I wrote as ‘superior’ in any way…. just something I believe is important, although if I had kids, I’d make plenty of mistakes, for sure-certain! {:o)

    Writing as well as you do, I bet you’re a bleddy GREAT Mum! {:o)

    I like it that you also teach him to not be a smug git……. THAT is also soooo important. A sense of humility is as valuable. That’s why it’s good to fail too……..

    There’s a philosophy we Old Greasers believe in about falling off our mo’sickles…. If you don’t ever fall off, you’re not riding hard enough, and if you’re not pushing it you’ll never know what the limits are. Never.

    Sorry……. Rambling away.

    The day I come out the other side will indeed be The Day. I’ll gladly send you a postcard…….. {:o)

    1. I didn’t take what you said in a superior way at all. Just oh the ways in which I wonder every single day if I’m getting this mom-thing right. There are thousand points for failure.

      We won’t know til he’s up and grown, will we? My son is a speed skater (familiar with that? Lots of people around these parts are not). He almost never comes in first, but he does often place. He falls and hurts himself. He gets disqualified by teammates. He wants to go to every practice 4 times a week. And the meets start at 5am. Sometimes I think this sport teaches more than I do. He fails in front of a crowd. He gets cheers. It is crazy. ANd while he practices I sit in the roller rink and write!

      But also, sometimes at the rink we tell the kids if you aren’t falling down sometimes, you’re not trying hard enough. So. He’s learning.

      Keep rambling. Rambling is welcomed.

      1. HOW can you doubt yourself…. Lookit what you’re doing!!!

        Up and down the ice rink at 5.00am, and writing away at the same time. Yes, many parents make that sort of effort, and they’re all good parents. Guess what? You’re one of them too….. An OUTSTANDING parent.

        Yes, your boy will be getting a huge amount from the experience, and the crowd’s reaction too, but his Mum taking him there and trying to write at the same time will be something he appreciates for the whole of his life…. even if he doesn’t right now. When we’re older, when the Yoof Hormones have settled down and we no longer Know It All with the wisdom and expertise of Yoof, we all look back at the big picture behind us and see the things people did for us when we were young.

        I salute you, I really do. Don’t let the mistakes you no doubt make undermine what you truly are.
        A GREAT Mum! {:o)

      2. Oh, and although I kinda know what speed skating is in a general way…. (Going like hell in a circle??…. yes, I know there’s more to it than that… just joking around.)…… I’m from Toy Town United Kingdom, the once Great Britain that our esteemed leaders are still flushing down the toilet. Not much speed skating around here I’m afraid….
        Not much of anything really, and what there is the weenies try to outlaw…..{:oi

  4. the writ and the wrote

    I’m the same way. It’s why I let very few people I know read my writing. I have no problem sending it off to strangers for submission, but my friends should probably not ask to read it, because odds are high that I will say no. I have six stories left to write. I was hoping to finish today, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen that way.

    1. You don’t HAVE TO finish. It’s nice. But sometimes I get too OCD about that sort of thing and make my family crazy.

      I usually let friends read something if they ask—-and I post stuff online so they don’t have to ask—-but they rarely ask. And if I say yes, I don’t hear much back. So it goes. There are friends and there is the audience. No reason why they’re going to be the same.

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