I find it really hard to write anything self-appreciating. I’ve always struggled with things like this. From a young age I never had much confidence in myself. It took me until my mid 20’s to really gain any self confidence, and it’s been a long journey. Since then I’ve struggled with speaking aloud when I feel proud about myself. A little voice in the back of my mind tells me to stop bragging, or that I look like i’m being pretentious or something.
Tonight I say bollocks to that voice. I would never think that someone else was being pretentious in my situation, in fact I absolutely love hearing others tell me stories of how proud they are, their success stories and feelings of strength.
Those closest to me will have heard me say many a time ‘I’m writing a book!’ (in an excited and shell shocked tone) as it dawns on me for the umpteenth time that this is really something I’m doing. But this afternoon it really dawned on me that I am writing a book. Of course some of that really is about the writing itself, but it is more than that for me.
Writing a book is a big deal for anyone. For me personally, the odds were so against me. I missed the entirety of my secondary schooling, apart from the first 6 months. I had a really difficult time at school. I was bullied throughout primary and into secondary, eventually being attacked. This was the point where my mental health went from something in the background, that I could push through, to absolutely crippling me. I went pretty off the rails for my teenage years, struggling with depression and an anxiety disorder, and although I tried and I wanted to do it, I was never able to go back to school. From here I had a long, difficult battle with my mental health, and a lot of other horrors that were thrown my way.
My confidence was nonexistent. I constantly judged myself, and compared myself to others. I never felt like I was ‘good enough’, or had much intelligence. I had no qualifications, in fact I left school having only received roughly one tenth of the teaching I should’ve had. I didn’t believe I had much going for me at all.
In my early 20’s I finally started engaging properly with therapists and psychologists, and I worked so damn hard to fight my demons and gain some confidence and self worth.
And somehow, against the odds here I am, you’ve guessed it, writing a book!
The idea formed for this particular book in March but I only began writing at the start of July. My personal goal is to write a 100,000 words. Last night I wrote another 3000 words, making my total word count 8900. I’ve written nearly 10% of my first draft in under 3 weeks.
It isn’t just the fact that I’m writing the book. It’s what that symbolises for myself too. I’ve worked through some real shit, faced up to a lot of trauma, and not only have I come through on the other side with some confidence, I’m doing things that far exceed anything I ever thought I would do in my life. This book signifies my strength, my determination and my resilience. And right now, I’m so proud of myself.
So tonight I want to let myself wallow in that self appreciation and pride for what it signifies when I say out loud ‘I’m writing a book’.