How to Know if You Are Deluded

The other day, I had plenty of time at work, but no privacy to write a blog, so I’ve spent some time watching YouTube videos because that’s what I do when I have time to spare.

Video after video, I somehow ended up watching the Simon Cowell more or less scolding deluded people who came to audition for the various shows in which he was one of the judges. I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy that, because his comments were hilarious but I also can’t say that I didn’t pity the poor deluded souls who thought they were born to be stars while the fact was they were singing like “someone stepping on a cat” and their performance was “utterly useless” as Simon would say. 

It was fascinating to me that there are so many people with the inability to hear and see themselves in an objective way. They were simply deluded but determined to push all the way up to the stars.

Sometimes, there were groups of people involved in the same project with a disastrous outcome which resulted in public humiliation and ridicule.

There were even parents who were so deeply in-loved with their children that they couldn’t see the clear picture and spare their children of inevitable disappointment.

Then, there were the true fanatics who would come year after year convinced that they improved but their performance showed the opposite.

All these people had one thing in common – their huge ego, who was blocking their sight and persuading them into believing that they are something they’re not. It was sad and painful to watch, but I kept watching for the wittiness of Mr. Simon. 

Then, the problem appeared; I started to doubt in my own writing abilities because people like me do things like that.

My lack of self-confidence started kicking in very hard and at one point I started to really doubt whether I can write.  “What if I’m just like these people,” I thought. 

It was scary to talk to anyone like this, and eventually, I’ve told my wife about my concerned and she just told me that I was silly and continued doing whatever she was already doing. Also, she knew that I occasionally have episodes like that and she was the one who encouraged me to write after I’ve told her the story idea for my first novel.

But, there was evidence that I might be deluding myself. I thought, nobody except my mother ever prices my writing. Nobody reads my blog. There aren’t any reviews of my book. I haven’s sold any of my English versions of the book, only a couple of dozens of people have downloaded it for free and I’ve never heard a word from than ever since. I’m not a native English speaker, I know that I often make mistakes (my Grammarly informs me about that), I know that my Serbian version of the novel had many mistakes which were overlooked by my lousy editor and which were later corrected by my wife.

Also, there is the fact that during the editing process I would think – OMG I can’t believe that I wrote this shit; and it’s always in a negative connotation. Because of that, I never read my old stories and I’ve never read my novel after it was published; I never read anything because I’m afraid that I will get disappointed. 

I really started to panic and I was thinking about quitting writing and it lasted an entire two or three days.

Then, I remembered that my wife always laughs at me when I’m doing a lousy job and there are lots of things at which I suck; dancing, singing, telling jokes, remembering where I put my things, holding more than one object in my hands,  or basically any other physical activity.

But, she never laughs at my writing. Yes, she writes with my writing, if it is funny, and she cries if it’s sad. I remember how upset and sad she was while she was editing Bloody Green, for the last time (the novel is upsetting and sad); I remembered how many times she was stunned by my writing and I know that she is the only reason I kept doing what I do (I wish I could say for a living).

Then, I started thinking, maybe she just wants me to be happy and she never laughs at my writing because she knows how much I care about that.

But then, I remembered that there are other people who told me how deeply touched they were after they read my novel, all sorts of people who I know and who I don’t know. 

There is a handful of you who come to this website and who follow me on Medium and Twitter because these are the only platforms where I’m present and where I get my feedback. 

And that makes me happy and even if I’m living in a delusion, I’m glad that I’m not alone in it and I will keep trying I assume for the rest of my life.