One of my favorite modern bands is Twenty-One Pilots. And when I say one of my favorite, I mean one of a very long list, because I like a lot of music and will get excited about a new artist or genre every other day. Twenty-One Pilots is definitely a band that pierces through that somewhat, and that’s for a simple reason. Their lyrics, at least in the songs that really stand out to me, are brilliant and thought-evoking. Let me tell you about what I’ve been up to lately, and why their music felt so apt to the situation.
I spent the past week or two working on a submission to a writing contest. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing, and it’s my first time doing something like this, but not my first time considering it. The challenge was to write a story inspired by a short video. Easy enough, I have tons of old material to borrow from. Although I started off excited and wrote quite a bit, as the deadline came closer, I noticed the quality go down. I felt like I shouldn’t really go all out on something that isn’t that important to me. But is it not important to me? Or is it more important than I’d like to admit. One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to put my work out there and get some feedback. I’ve gotten very little so far, but it has motivated me to write more, and read more from other writers. There are some talented bloggers on this platform, and reading different styles has definitely made me realize there is much to learn.
Going back to the writing challenge I partook in, the final product I turned in was fine. I thought it was a decent little story, but I know it’s not going to blow anyone out of the water. If any remotely talented writers also participated in this challenge, I’ll never hear back that I won something. Now, that’s not bad in and of itself, but it’s the way I went about things that leaves a bad aftertaste.
Like a little splinter buried in your skin,
someone else can carve it out but
when you’ve got the pin.
It hurts a little less and
you can even push it further in.
There’s much truth to this, and it links back to why I called this post “Self Sabotage is a sweet romance,” which is also a line from the song Choker by Twenty-One Pilots. It’s scary leaving others to judge your worth. If I sabotage myself by not giving my all I can always use That wasn’t my best work, it’s no wonder it didn’t win as an excuse. If you don’t give it your all it hurts less when you fail. Or so the theory goes. But I want to go all out. I want to give it my best and then fail spectacularly. But I don’t have the guts to do so. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m not the only one.
Having said that, and I do want to end this post on a lighter note, I did submit something to a competition for the first time in my life. It’s not going to wow anybody, nor is it likely to win anything, but it’s a step further than giving up during the process. And I think for those of us who are prone to self sabotage that is the healthiest way to look back on things. Not so much by looking at the failed attempts as failures, but looking at them like attempts made. It’s a small step, but it’s a step forward nonetheless.