Sunday, January 25, 2015

Justine's Journal #23

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 23

"I’m going to discuss the word euphoria.

The Dictionary definition is ‘A feeling of great (usually exaggerated) elation’.

And there’s my point. Exaggerated elation. There are other synonyms, such as bliss, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, and excitement (it’s quite the word!) but they do not really describe euphoria. These others are ‘okay’ feelings, if you know what I mean, while euphoria can be something else. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it should be something to be somewhat cautious of.

Exaggerated  means ‘Represented as greater than is true or reasonable’ and ‘Enlarged to an abnormal degree’. Synonyms are amplified, enlarged, magnified, and overstated. Do you see?

Thus, following the logic, euphoria is something a bit bigger than is entirely healthy.

This happened to me recently, and has to do with my writing. I finished a piece I’ve been working on for a fair while. See what Elaina has to say about me and my writing in her progress report, and you’ll understand this was actually a massive achievement. Hooray to me! I was, in the aftermath, euphoric. I danced around my little flat and punched the air like a teenager. This was cause for celebration! I phoned friends, including Elaina, I phone my brother, I told my neighbours, I even shared it with the girl at the register in the local shop. Hooray for me.

No one cared, really. I got the ‘well done’ and ‘happy for you’ of course, but they were less than impressed, if truth be told. The downer thereafter was terrible. Euphoria led to the worst kind of disappointment, because I allowed reality to get away from me. I expected too much. I was too happy.

Be wary, friends. Always temper your sense of achievement with a healthy dose of reality.

Here now I want to thank someone, and she is the one sharing this post with you. My friend Elaina is also a writer and she completely understood what had happened to me. She had been there, she knew the pitfalls, and she was able to offer advice I could work with. She told me to begin the self-edit, for now I am to take a rough draft and polish it into something smooth, telling me the satisfaction from that process is often as rewarding, sometimes more so.

Learn from this, please. Be wary of euphoria. And share what you have achieved with someone who understands what it means, for there is the real validation.

Validation: ‘Finding or testing the truth of something’ and ‘The cognitive process of establishing a valid proof’. Good or bad for you, what do you think?"

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