Stupid stupid stupid! *bangs head on wall*
Getting orders out today... fiendishly busy in general, haven't started EMG-Zine March yet. But it's lunchtime, and I need a break. Badly.
So, I ramble.
I have ego, don't get me wrong. Some days, I'm sure I'm the cat's meow. I can move mountains! I do more in a day than most people (barring the handful of amazing folks on my friendslist who can juggle more than I can and complain less...) can hope to do in a week. *pounds chest and preens*
But don't think that that lasts.
Submission time is particularly grueling. Who the hell am I to say what goes in and what gets cut?? I can't even pay bills selling my own art - and here I am styling myself as the knowall of that which is fine fantasy art. I have the gall to give critiques on really hot stuff, and ask for revisions from artists who can actually *sell* their limited editions. I'm looking at the Dragon*Con jury opportunity, and wondering, should I even bother this year? I didn't sell anything last year. My work is blah. People who spend half as much effort and concentration in the field manage to whip out really *interesting* and evocative pieces while I'm still making the same stupid errors in anatomy - and pointing them out to other people...
And some of my projects... dear heavens, I'm only with them still because I'm stubborn, not because I think I can pull them off anymore. Like EMG-Zine. It's a great idea, and it would have been gold if I'd had the support system in place that I thought I would by the time it opened. Instead, it's a huge, time-sucking disaster that I'm playing scrambling catch-up on every second. It doesn't do what I want it to. I'm not getting the submissions I want. I can't seem to get people to even submit already finished work to it. It's not as pretty or polished as I want it to be. I have to do too much of it myself, so lots of stuff falls through the cracks. If it weren't for Megan and Gette, I'd have given up already.
I'm not sure why I've come to depend on 'I'll do X' or 'I promise Y,' because honestly, as well-meaning and sweet and wonderful as people are - I get jack. And, because I do not have that solid, amazing self-confidence that I manage to fool people into *thinking* I have, I sit in my corner and chew on my lip, wondering if it's ME that's turned them off, if I've finally said something so phenomenally stupid that I've blown this reputation that has somehow developed around me and they don't want to have anything to do with my stupid projects.
(Seriously, if you are looking to cultivate a reputation, I suggest flake. Don't go for the level-headed, common-sense reliable one. If you have a reputation as a flake, no one expects too much, and will in fact get all excited and happy for you if you do pull something off. If you miss a deadline, oh well. If you make stupid promises you can't keep, no worries, no one actually *expects* you to pull it off anyway. If you've got a more serious reputation, all of sudden there is all this pressure to pull off something even more impressive next time, and to be more successful and to juggle more balls.)
When I go to post anywhere, I'm constantly going away wondering if I've come across too know-it-all or conceited. I have opinions, and I'm so used to being in critique mode that I can't pull out of it. I see a gorgeous piece of artwork, and I start through my mental checklist before I'm even done appreciating it... oh look, they forgot that shadow... and see how awkward that limb is... and the framing should have done something more in this direction... that Michelangello, what did he know? gah! Sometimes I post it, more times I feel too stupid and unworthy and just keep moving. And afterwards, I beat myself up like nobody's business, whether I posted or not. If I did, I didn't say it right, I didn't word it correctly, I spelled that wrong, I should have added this point. If I didn't say anything, I scold myself for that, too. Coward. You're a bad friend for not taking the time to comment. They'll think you're 'too good' to say anything...
It isn't just posts, of course... it's every action I take - it all gets the same, stupidly critical eye. I will never be good enough for myself. I had moderately critical parents, and I married a critical man, and I tend to collect critical friends, but none of 'em hold a candle to my own level of self-criticism. I do a lot, and to that end, I tend to do a lot wrong. I stack it up and stare at it... and then I look at the wonderful, kind things people tell me and wonder how they can fail to see that mountain of mistakes and flaws.
Don't get me wrong, a critical eye is a good thing and self-improvement is nearly impossible without some use of it - I just wish I could turn it off more.
It's not ego that gets me forward and moving each day, or prompts me to write and draw and pimp my wares like a shameless hussy. I'm not better than anyone else, and I don't know more, and I'm fully aware that anyone else could do any of these projects that I do - and probably better. But I actually do them, that's the big difference. I don't have time for my lack of self-confidence to cripple me, so I don't let it. I'm just stubborn. The ego part fluxuates wildly.
Time for lunch. And yay, the PA adopter will be perfectly happy with minor color adjustments! Horrah!
After lunch, I have some more orders to package up, and I have to get entries up, and then there will be some arttime.
Oh! Yesterday I read the manuscript for Thunderbird Falls and oh man, was it good. Best ending ever. Catie, you're evil - I had STUFF to do yesterday and instead I spent the afternoon reading!
Now I must go do that stuff...