The Pain of Being Mediocre at Something You Love

This is not a happy post. It’s not a post born out of misled passion. This post is the result of painful reflection that I have done. See sometimes, (not often I must admit) I ask God why I ever started writing. Why I ever fell in love with just letting my mind flow unto a page. From the title of this post, you can probably guess what I’m talking about. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to talk about it anyways. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re mediocre at something you love. Now, I don’t want people messaging me, commenting about how spectacular my writing is. I don’t need to hear all that. This is not a plea for attention or appreciation. This is a somber reflection. My dream of writing one incredible book hasn’t died, but I will admit that it is on its last embers. I’m just really frustrated with where I am as a writer. I’ve been in a rut anytime I’ve tried to write anything for months. I’m even struggling to complete this piece about my struggle to complete pieces! Now, people that know me, know my stance on intimate relationships. I wonder if how I’m feeling about writing right now is how people feel when they’re in a bad place in a relationship. You hate the significant other so much yet you love them so much. You can’t stand to be in their presence but you don’t want to stop. Am I right? Because sometimes I feel like throwing my laptop at the wall because I want to be as far away from WordPress as I can. But I’m scared of giving up. I’m scared of my mind letting go and saying, “that’s it Soala, no more for you,” ( I feel like this is one of those statements EVERY child has heard at some point). Is that how it feels to be hooked in an abusive relationship? I used to play the guitar, I gave up on that. I used to sing in the choir (contrary to what you might think from hearing me sing now, this is true. this is factual. I am not joking) and when puberty stole my angelic voice at the tender age of 13 and left this gruff, husky, sometimes-sounding-like-it-needs-baba-blue one, I gave up on singing. Writing has always been my way of expressing myself. Realizing that I’m mediocre at it has been tough because what do you do when you’re mediocre at something you love?

Now, before anyone says otherwise, I’ll give evidence for why I have come to conclude that I’m a mediocre writer. I won’t say anything about page views (which are nothing great and will actually help my case if I put them here). I’ll just talk about response and perception. I’ve been writing publicly for a while now. I believe I started this blog early in 2014. A lot of the people that know me, know that I write. But I’m never referred to as a writer, I’m never thought of as a writer and this holds true for many of the circles I’m in. I know who my peers think of as good writers, and I’m not part of that elite group of people. It’s a harsh truth, but it is what it is. And this is not jealous or spiteful, the logical reason behind me not being regarded as one of those writers is simply because my writing isn’t as good as their writing is. But still, realizing that your writing is mediocre hurts.

A writer I admire a lot once told me (if you somehow read this, hey!) that I have a voice that stands out. That meant (and still does) a lot to me. I don’t think I will ever be bold enough to stop writing. And hey, mediocre writers write famous books every once in a while. It’s all gucci.

P.S I’m using the word ‘mediocre’ to describe my writing in relation to other writing I read.


14 thoughts on “The Pain of Being Mediocre at Something You Love

  1. Mediocre or not, some of us will still read. Maybe WE are mediocre in our tastes. But ah, so be it.
    The good thing about this sort of agony is that most times, the intensity of it correlates with how much we care.

    I wish you a hounding, nagging will to go on.

  2. And I will always stand by the fact that you’re real and I’m tired of people whose writing is so complicated that it doesn’t even communicate.

    I feel this way all the time with my singing. But I’m teaching myself to go back to the basics. Why do I write? What makes it so enjoyable? What am I trying to do?

    Then just do it. Go ahead and suck while you’re at it but give yourself the affirmation that you’re going to do it anyway because you love it and no one can take that away from you. Suck and suck and suck till you’re so sick of sucking, and keep going. Be terrible until you find yourself being beautiful.

    It all starts from somewhere. Yours has started from such a unique and promising place. I’ve always been proud of you forever am. This isn’t pity. It’s your homie telling you the truth.

  3. Soala, your cowardice birthed this wonderful inspirational post I just read.Yes,inspirational to me;because for so long I wanted a blog of my own. A space to let out all that’s in me. I have so much written down waiting to be pressed. However, I have been held back by this question “What if no one claps for me?” Finally, I couldn’t take the agony of holding back the stories dying to be told. A voice drowned out by the storm but still dying to be heard. So, I did it – pressed my first post. I was and still am scared to put myself out there but Soala the release I felt, the joy of putting out that post, of taking the first step, cannot be traded for anything. So I’ll write. If it makes me famous good for me but if it doesn’t at least I won’t need to see a therapist to get rid of the psychological repercussions of all the pent up emotions within me. Good luck Soala. You are a wonderful writer and you shouldn’t underestimate the impact your blog posts have on your readers.

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