The other day, I had this idea: To be a writer, you have to be completely self-deluded, otherwise there is no way to keep on with it. You have to keep saying to yourself, I AM AMAZING, in the face of overwhelming evidence that it isn’t true. It’s quite a feat to manage, as writers have more than enough doubt and self-loathing percolating inside their hearts to easily convince themselves of the contrary all on their own. But you have to say it, and you have to believe it, no matter how many rejections there are piling up in your inbox.
I was saying this to Bryony last night, and having just been rejected by a man I am very fond of, I tried to connect this idea to dating. When over and over nothing works out, how else can I keep letting people into my battered heart, except to just keep believing I AM AMAZING. That’s what has to be done, otherwise, like with writing, I would have to accept that I’m actually an idiot to keep on trying.
“The thing with your writing is,” Bryony said, “you’ve actually had some success there.”
That’s right. Not as much as I want, not as fast as I want – but at least there is some positive reinforcement to suggest that what I’m doing isn’t futile. Not so with men.
I replay and replay and replay a mantra of my attributes to myself: I’m creative. I’m pretty fun – I like to do stuff! I’m smart. I try to stay abreast of politics and current events. I’m pretty cute. I have killer flair. I make great soup. I dance. I run. I spin. I strength train. I’m flexible. I’m a half-decent writer. I’m employed and I freelance. I knit. I like going places. I am kind to animals. I don’t litter. I have excellent dental hygiene. I’m learning French. Also, I’m hilarious. I’m a great catch! And you are obviously a lunatic if you don’t want to get with me.
But, you know, with absolutely no results even self-delusion has its limits.