Not too long ago I made the wholly comprehensible error of asking several people for an honest critique of my art. All of them, with only one exception, thought that it was shit and I couldn't draw.
Which, I've decided, is the truth. I have no inborn talent for art or writing at all -- having failed to comprehend everything that any other artist or writer has tried to teach me, what little ability I have is entirely the result of time and experience. And I do mean "little". I can't write good dialogue to save my life, and despite two decades of practice my ability to draw anatomy is still as sloppy as a moderately talented eighth-grader's.
I think the main reason my drawing and wordsmithing have failed to improve is that I am, ordinarily, too much of a coward to ask for honest criticism; to merely think of letting anyone in the outside world take a look at my work is enough to get my hands trembling and eyes watering with genuine fear. And there seems to be no happy medium anymore between a polite, noncommittal lie and a blunt, brutal, vicious honesty, so why subject myself to that?
I don't know what I'm doing trying to write or draw, anyway. Knowing what I know about myself, I doubt I belong in any profession of which critique is a natural and necessary adjunct. My mind runs in severe and awkward grooves, and it's too easy to get stuck in a bad pattern. The words won't come out right, or the hand won't cooperate with the eye and the mind... and everything that escapes is terrible, just terrible, to the point that I can only imagine my work being torn to shreds if I make the mistake of ever showing it. I am wracked with paranoia -- it seems like every time I have stuck my head out, I got slapped. And the ones who didn't slap me were just being politely dishonest.
I hate my bad art, then I hate myself for hating my bad art, then I hate myself for hating myself, and the cycle continues from there. I think it's self-loathing and self-pity (an even more repugnant emotion) in about equal amounts. It's to the point where I can't even try to write or draw anymore -- even look at a blank Word document or a sketchbook -- without feeling nausea and impotence and rage, and finally abandoning the thing in disgust. Why did I ever dedicate my life to this crap if I can't do it?
Oh, right, because I'm autistic and my head is too fucked to be used for anything else.