It didn’t take long for me to re- read my New Year’s Day post and start picking holes in it, looking for gaps and inconsistencies. I missed out a very important resolution- buy a dress that makes my tits look absolutely cracking– so I need to edit that one in for starters. The second thing that leapt out at me when I was re- reading for typos was the bit where I talked about ‘just not being good’ at certain skills that I perceive necessary to be a successful, well- rounded sex blogger who is acknowledged as such in the community, and limiting my expectations of what I can achieve with my blog as a result. When I wrote that I genuinely meant it, but after a while I started to see some fairly glaring flaws in my own argument, and it felt like now is as good a time as any to call myself out on some bullshit.
A bit of background: yesterday morning some friends in a WhatsApp group I’m a member of were talking about not making resolutions at New Year but instead having a word to focus on- some examples were things like ‘authenticity’, ‘self- compassion’, ‘courage’ and determination’- and thinking about what habits or behaviours we might want to leave in 2020. My response to this latter idea was ‘self- sabotage’: my lifelong habit of subscribing to self- limiting beliefs, my habit of running away from opportunities to succeed and grow and instead paddling around in stagnant and familiar waters. I said that, and then not 24 hours later posted that I ‘just wasn’t good at’ many of the facets required of a sex blogger that aren’t ‘being able to string a sentence together’ (I know that I’m generally decent, sometimes excellent at that part, which makes my ineptitude at the other bits doubly painful).
Here are some things that I perceive other sex bloggers doing very well that I think I do very badly:
Supporting each other
Taking excellent and creative photos
Actually having sex/ engaging in D/s with other human beings who are in the same room (or even on the same landmass) as them
Experimenting with forms other than the one they’re most confident in ie, fiction as opposed to biographical writing or vice versa
Planning their output
Believing that their output is worth paying for
Standing up for less privileged members of the community in a timely, articulate and principled fashion
Maintaining an online persona that is coherent and likeable rather than scattershot to the point of being irritating
It’s a very long list. And I’ll be completely honest here, because why the fuck not: there have been very long chunks of time when I have looked at the other members of this community and what they achieve on a weekly basis and just felt like I couldn’t even begin to compete. The feeling of inferiority I have watching the community at work is often- usually- overwhelming, and makes it impossible for me to improve or engage, and that makes me feel lonely and isolated. And at the same time I desperately want to be part of the community, because I am a dork, and want to be friends with all the cool kids but convince myself I’m not cool enough to be part of the Cool Kid gang. It’s not an aspect of my personality I’m proud of; I would have hoped I’d grow out of it long ago, to be honest, but here we are.
The thing is: it takes guts to admit that you aren’t good at something and then commit to improving by trying something new, and I sometimes wonder if I’m not at heart just a bit gutless. You have to be unafraid of failure, or at the very least sure that it won’t kill you (I am not at all sure of this, despite knowing intellectually that I fail at things on the Regular and that my unholy corpse continues to persist upon this Earth regardless). If you want to write the shit I want to write (and this is more of a problem than it used to be) you have to be sure that, if you write something that some people are almost inevitably going to dislike- about DD/lg, consensual non- consent, humiliation play any number of subjects that are hard to write about in a manner that is hot, authentic and considerate of other peoples’ super- valid squick reflexes- that it’s actually completely okay for people not to like it. It’s not a sign that you are a bad writer and also wrong and gross for being into that shit in the first place; I am wrong and gross for very many reasons, but writing (with appropriate content notes) about my raging Daddy kink is not one of them.
I’m scared of failure and I’m scared of rejection and I’m scared of letting people down. So I do nothing! And then hate myself. It’s no way to live- not if you want to grow, and I kinda do. When I was thinking about this earlier I went back to the thing about ‘I’m just not good at this shit’, and pictured a baby saying to its parents ‘I’m just rubbish at this walking business- I’m going to just hang out in this pram forever’. Okay, babies can’t talk, but I hope you see the point my sub- conscious was very clumsily trying to make. The answer to feeling like I’m not good at shit is not to stop trying; the point is to practise.
So, anyway. Today is the 2nd of January. Another thing I am terrible at is writing content daily; I cannot foresee a situation in which I get better at this. Luckily Violet Fawkes’ #JanuaryJumpstart meme makes it extremely clear that you don’t have to write every day to take part. I’m almost definitely not going to succeed at writing every day but what I’m also not going to do is let the fact of my almost inevitable failure stop me from taking part altogether.
So. Here we go. #JanuaryJumpstart. Let’s do this.