I happened upon an article a few weeks ago about Dorothy Parker that really stuck with me. If you have a moment and feel so inclined, a link to that post will be included at the end of this one.
Now, if you’ve never read the rapier wit that is a poem by Dorothy Parker, I heartily suggest that you take the time to correct such an oversight. I found Dorothy Parker when I needed her, as a teenager when I didn’t have the words but she did. Short and sweet, thoughtful yet swift, her words were a delight to me, despite some of the arguably more depressing end messages. However, I took it as an adult giving me a little truth, and alternative to what Disney proclaims to be the happily ever after every girl, as a princess, will obtain.
As an aspiring author and a fledgling writer myself at the time, I fell in love with Dorothy Parker’s wit, her ability to use words and create something I found remarkable and often on the nose. To this day some of my favorite poems are ones written by her, some of my favorite quotes are her words.
Poems like this succinctly summarize something I loved and still adore about Parker’s work, the message that you should change for no one, tell it like it is, and use your wit. Simply, I love her use of words.
That being said, the article was about Dorothy Parker and the debilitating self-doubt she experienced as a writer. She often thought her words were the wrong ones and would berate herself for her seeming inability to find what felt like the right ones.
What impressed me most about this article was how much it sounded like me. One of the biggest hurdles I face is myself, my own self-doubt, that cruel voice in my mind continuously poking holes in every hope and dream. Instead of writing, I find distractions and give myself reasons for why I’m not writing or doing anything to actively work towards it, meanwhile my mind is spinning all the new ideas around, inwardly churning the myriad of possibilities. I’m hardly the only one who understands how frustrating and depressing it can be to be always fighting the voice in your own head telling you that you aren’t good enough.
Knowing that someone like Dorothy Parker, and so many other wonderful writers that I’ve loved for years or am just getting to know, deal with something as crippling and seemingly mundane as self-doubt, something I and everyone else with a heart and a dream, it’s hard not to feel at least a little heartened. Finding out that someone you admire or someone that has done something you aspire to had just as hard a time as you currently are having is comforting and adds another spotlight to the end of the tunnel; it’s the possibility that you’re on the right path to get where you want to go and that as long you keep trying, despite the all your doubts and fears, and how sharp their barbs are, that your goals are attainable.
And now, I must get to work…