I don’t think there’s a worse feeling in the world than getting behind. In education, it’s an experience that I have often. Marking, planning, reports, oh my. The deadlines are furious and all consuming. Plus, you need to keep track of your own, teach the students how to keep track of theirs, and make sure that all of them don’t overlap so you don’t run the risk of getting behind.
In my writing, it is the perpetual feeling behind everything that I am doing. I feel like I am behind where I should be, that I haven’t written enough, I certainly haven’t published enough, and that somehow there is this invisible line of accomplishment that I should have achieved.
It’s a symptom of my decades in the education system, both as a student and as a teacher. There is no one out in the real world measuring my achievement and grading me against others. That’s the beauty of the apathy of the old, no one really cares what I do.
That’s not meant to be a downer, more inspirational. Just like the realisation that we are, in fact, mortal is comforting and spurs us on to accomplish everything we can with the fleeting time we have. If no one really cares about my success or failures, then they are absolutely all mine to own and do with as I please.
Success will not be if I get published, or write as many books as another author, or get a Pulitzer. None of that really matters. What matters is the act itself. I know, trite and cliche, the journey not the destination. But in being creative, the journey is the destination.