Life is getting in the way of my writing. I tell myself it’s because I need to save my energy to focus on my romcom—one of three novel concepts that are consistently fighting for space in my mind stew—so that I can make a solid effort to actually accomplish a goal for once in my life.
But if it’s not work, or family, or friends, or my dog, it’s literally anything else. And in the rare moments that there isn’t anything else, it’s that I’m just tired.
And what about that new PlayStation that I bought, and the most incredible game ever to go along with it? And what about my new fitness craze? And the old ones that I should really get back into? And what about my responsibility to listen to my body and just give it rest when it needs it?
The truth is, life isn’t getting in the way. Life is just life: Experiences, decisions, thoughts, and feelings. Nonstop. It can be downright overwhelming. Lately, it seems like processing life on a daily basis is about all I can handle. To then go and write about it? Psh.
More often than not, I’m finding that the things I feel passionately enough to write about are also the things that seem the most draining to discuss: Racial tensions. Women’s rights. Social justice. Equality. Humanity. Finding my place in this world. How to keep loving family and friends who have diametrically opposing social and political views than you (seriously, how?)…
Then again, writing is cathartic for me. When I make the effort to sit down and quiet myself, the words almost always come. And if I allow myself to keep writing until I’ve finished, it brings such a sense of relief… and dare I say, joy. The hard part is forcing myself to take a break before I’m done, because you know, life and responsibilities. It’s so much
better easier to just stop myself before I even start, to convince myself that if I wait until I have the time to do it right, it’ll be that much better. And people will actually read it. And love me for it. And all my problems will be solved. I’m sure of it. (sarcasm)
I recently finished reading “Bird by Bird,” by Anne Lamott, because reading about how to write is my progressive new way of convincing myself that I’m still a writer even though I haven’t written in a while—I’m just learning how to hone my craft and getting some inspiration while I’m at it. Anyway, I highlighted this part where she totally gets it (I basically highlighted the entire book), and it’s stuck with me:
“There are moments when I am writing when I think that if other people knew how I felt right now, they’d burn me at the stake for feeling so good, so full, so much intense pleasure. I pay through the nose for these moments, of course, with lots of torture and self-loathing and tedium, but when I am done for the day, I have something to show for it.”
Yeah. Just, yeah.
In just two sentences, she’s summed up how I feel about writing, why I do it; the draw, and the struggle.
Writing brings me a sense of purpose and fulfillment that nothing in my life has even come close to. But, it also awakens some
deeply buried easily provoked insecurities that seem to go along with being vulnerable. I often find it easier to just give into what Stephen Pressfield calls “Resistance.”
So, I guess this is just my long-winded way of explaining why I haven’t posted in a while (I’m a conflicted weakling who’s afraid of my own vulnerabilities?), and why I’m not done. Not by a long shot.
I might not blog very often—although I’m almost ready to give myself a new goal of blogging regularly about the process of writing my first novel—but I’ll always write. Even if it’s gibberish, and even though I’ll likely be judged for every line, every word, every incorrect punctuation mark. It’s all good. Because it’s all mine. They’re my words. They’re my thoughts. They’re me. And I’m a writer.