Perhaps you’ve read some of my writings about Mr. Knotgudenov, maybe in one of my interviews or on one of my Facebook posts. Mr. Knotgudenov is the mean little bastard who lives in my head and tells me I’m NOT GOOD ENOUGH! When I write about this little annoyance, it is done with tongue firmly in cheek and liberally sprinkled with LOLs and amusing characterizations, but in reality I’m rarely smiling when I write about this personal demon of mine. He’s quite real. And he hurts.
I’m willing to bet that a good percentage of the people reading this have their own version of Mr. Knotgudenov. You don’t need to be a writer to have one. Artists, musicians, teachers, factory workers, fry cooks—literally everyone can have a Mr. Knotgudenov. He looks in the darkest corner of your mind, cackling and slavering, and just waiting to pop your balloon of confidence with his nasty little claws.
“You’re not good enough…” *POP*
“You suck…” *POP*
“Seriously? That’s the best you can do? Pathetic…” *POP*
Mine even went so far as to completely shut down my ability to write anything at all. I even starting agreeing with the little fucker. “He’s right,” I told myself, “I’m really NOT good enough. I hardly have any reviews. My books don’t sell worth a crap. Nobody would ever want to read anything I wrote because—all together now—I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH! My writing sucks like a big moose fart!”
After an entire year of this, I came to the sudden realization that I was letting Mr. Knotgudenov win. With every day that I felt too defeated to write, with every confidence balloon he popped, the bastard got bigger, slimier, and more obnoxious. He fed off of my own sense of inadequacy, and believe me, I was serving him some gourmet meals.
I started re-reading some of my reviews, messages, and comments from my beloved readers. I’ve never met these fine folks. They certainly had nothing to gain from telling me they enjoyed my work. They weren’t just being nice. To them, I WAS good enough, and there is bound to be more readers out there for me. One of the reasons I hadn’t found them yet was because Mr. Knotgudenov had me so convinced that I couldn’t cut the mustard that I didn’t even want to self-promote anymore.
So I’ve decided to kill him.
Do you have a Mr. Knotgudenov that needs an ass kickin’? Would you like to join me?
Let’s starve them out. When they start up with their lies, let’s ignore them. Let’s focus on honing and polishing our skills, no matter what they might be, instead of being flogged by those hideous feelings of inadequacy. Just imagine the persistent screech of your Mr. Knotgudenov is only background noise, no more significant than the faint barking of a distant dog, a mere bit of low-level static that can easily be tuned out. He’s going to keep trying, though, and when he does, let’s just say to ourselves: “Oh, there he is again,” and imagine him blowing away like leaves in the wind. Then let’s get back to business.
And while we starve our Knotgudenovs, let’s feed ourselves. Let’s devour knowledge in the form of how-to books, and helpful blog posts, and YouTube videos. Let’s seek advice from the folks who have been in the business for a while. Let’s blow up our confidence balloons and let them proudly float. We are good enough. Let’s get even better.
And let’s laugh at our Knotgudenovs as they shrink smaller and smaller. Let’s keep it up until they disappear completely. I AM good enough and so are you, and you, and you. Hey, you in the back with the sad face! You’re good enough too!
Adios, Mr. Knotgudenov.
Happy New Year!
Yours in weirdness,