The Wall of Silence
No news or reviews,
Likes or retweets:
Refresh is getting weary –
It’s the only one that gets the hits.
Silence, where once I hid,
Now enslaves me;
I used to like to keep it,
Now I’m trying to break free.
Get off the phone
I tell myself,
Be in your beautiful home.
The love is real,
The likes here are the type
you can actually feel.
It’s hard to believe that little over a year ago I was worrying about reading negative reviews for my newly published book. Would people like it? Would they think it was well written, well constructed, informative and helpful? Little did I know then about the publishing world.
The truth is, I have barely had a single review since my book was published. Apart from a few friends and family members (thanks guys!) and, I think, one ‘stranger’ who have reviewed my book on Amazon, I have heard absolutely nothing. As far as I know, all the review copies that were sent out by the publishers have borne no fruit whatsoever, and the recipients are all delivering a resounding silence that is almost harder to bear than a ‘bad’ review. I have no idea whether my book was well received or not, and that is hard.
And so as I am finally settled into our new home – with an office for writing (rather than the dining table in the lounge), I am feeling somewhat despondent and greatly lacking in confidence as I am now beginning to focus on my second book.
At my book launch my sister-in-law talked to me about writing for the sake of writing – she asked: did I write any of my poems with the intent of them being published? Absolutely not! I always hoped that one day some of them might be published, but that was not why I wrote them. I wrote them because I love to write, to play with words, and to express my thoughts and feelings.
My poems are not polished, or perfect, but they are genuine expressions of myself and that is enough. I am trying to write in the same vein – writing for the sake of writing, but also with the hope that I can inform, encourage and inspire. But that is proving difficult.
You may well ask whether it really matters what other people think – of course it does – I have BPD! People with borderline personality disorder notoriously desire acceptance and affirmation from others, and I am no exception to this rule. Without the validation of others it is all to easy to feel worthless, unimportant and less-than. It is an easy trap to fall back into, and I have fallen hard when it comes to writing another book. Will I even find a publisher, given that my first book has hit brick walls at every turn?
A good friend of mine has a saying: the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. I don’t feel hated – there is nothing so far to suggest that my book is hated, but I feel it has met indifference and that, to me, feels worse.
I am doing my best to fight the feelings of needing to be validated by someone outside of myself. I am not worthless or less-than. I need to be kind to myself while I battle the waves of despondency and low confidence, and I need to find ways – healthy ways – to validate myself.
I am enough, and it is enough for me to be reminded of this. For now!