Welcome to my journey! I have started and re-started this website time and time again, never truly committing to its continuity. Part of this is because I failed to settle on the direction I wished to go with blog posts. The other part, is something I believe many of you might resonate with–fear.
Like many writers out there, I suffer from a mild case of perfectionism. This manifests in many ways, but when it comes to this website, it has shown up in the form of a freeze response. I have avoided starting and finishing these pages for quite a while, feeling it too daunting of a task with too small of a reward to warrant my devoted attention for a second. Lo and behold, I tore off the bandage and within a few hours have a functional start!
I have wanted to create a journal for quite a while, and now is the ideal time as I have many transitions occurring within my life. I am learning at a rapid pace and wish to share those bits of writerly knowledge with you as I progress. I also wish to have a place to write out my goals, my dreams, my progress, and all of the bits of writing I have no intention of publishing.
I hope to show a true glimpse of my progress. It is difficult for me to allow that level of vulnerability. I have always worked in private, keeping my pieces in the dark, editing and re-writing over and over again–never quite feeling like it’s good enough. It’s time I let that habit go. So, here it is–this is where I am not where I will end.
As I reflect on this form of protection, I know where it comes from, and I am sure some of you out there will resonate with what I have to write. Throughout my journey, I have found my ambitions scorned as unrealistic and my successes dismissed and met with negativity due to jealousy. It’s rare to find someone truly in your corner and for that reason, I have chosen to hide. It’s safe.
My issue is not with criticism. Unfortunately, as a writer, that’s the first thing one needs to overcome. Rejection and failure are friends. Aside from fear of vulnerability, I have a difficult time letting go of my works. I am hoping that both my One Hundred Short Stories project and this journal will cure this issue. For example, I have two short stories I completed four years ago. Of course, my present day self is not happy with these pieces! So, instead of pushing them out and publishing them four years ago, they are currently sitting in a stack of short stories, and I am now working on a full re-structuring of them.
I am hoping this journal will provide me a space to acknowledge my mistakes within pieces and transform them into both a testament to my progress and a lesson for other writers. As for my One Hundred Short Stories project, I will write an entire blog post on that next, but the goal there is to focus on consistent production and publication from start to finish. I am hoping it will force my hand to get them past the drafting page and send them off into the world. I am hoping it will turn my focus from perfection to constant progress. After all, the worst that happens is I re-write the story later on in life. There is a level of detachment I hope to obtain from this process.
So, this is what I am doing here, but who am I? Who is C. A. Gabbard? The truth is–I don’t know, and it’s really not my business to care. I am lowkey obsessed with writing, to the chagrin of my parents. As of today, I am paying my bills working as the Chief Editor and Content Manager of an Indie Publishing House. I love it. I have seven years experience with freelance writing and editing. Most of my contracts involved ghostwriting 40k word to 60k word novels for publishing houses in four different countries. By the end of my ghostwriting stint, I was disciplined enough to produce one of these novels every month.
Remember how I said I was a perfectionist? Right, well, that comes with the lovely attribute of procrastination. “Haha. It’s not my best work because I wrote it an hour before the deadline.” That whole ego shield. Also, something I wish to eliminate with this whole “pulling the mask off” phase of my life. Either way, through the shadow of procrastination it has come to light that I can effectively write 11k words in a day and 3k words a day is a sustainable amount for me. I am grateful for the practice in endurance and stamina.
Currently, I am attending University to receive an English Literature degree. So, I wake up, I meditate, I workout, I work on my personal writing, I study, I work on editing and managing other writers\editors, I read or listen to audiobooks for the last couple hours until bed. If I take a break, it’s for a walk where I often have a book in my ear. My point is, that I eat, breathe, and dream writing. I am past the point of safety nets and concerning myself with weather the world will weight me as good or bad. I am here. Let me share with you.