“Start from the beginning.”
This is what Jessica Jones, one of my favorite antiheroes, would say. I could relate to her in at least a couple of ways:
1. She’s an alcoholic, and there was a time when I used to drink to forget.
2. She aspired to be a superhero but felt that she wasn’t good enough because of something she did while under the influence of a villain. I dreamed of becoming a writer from a young age—writers are superheroes in their own way; I, too, met a few villains, who all made me believe I wasn’t good enough to write.
Decades passed, and like a persistent comic book character, my dream of writing had been killed off and resurrected many times, cycling through each reboot and eventual decline. What’s different this time?
This time, most of my villains are gone. Even if I find new ones, I know they would be nothing compared to my arch-nemesis. The biggest villain in my writing journey is… me. It had always been, and it always will be—my self-doubt, my depression and anxiety, the weak parts of me that care too much about what others say, my vainest and most complacent parts.
Much as I wrestle with this enemy, I love her; she feeds the deepest, darkest parts of my work. Maybe success doesn’t equate with defeating her. Maybe instead, I should learn to embrace her as an essential companion on this writing journey.
Feel free to join me on my journey. Or should I say, join us?