This time around it’s like a kick in the gut.
I mean, every writer hates it, right? I don’t know how many times I’ve opened my laptop or a journal to write down an idea and it just won’t come out. I hate everything I’ve jotted down for the past few months. I’m getting angry at myself.
I keep trying to work through it. I’ve written down sentences here and there whenever one enters my mind, but I’m not really getting any further with anything. And when I don’t write, it seems like I lose the biggest part of me.
It scares me.
That probably sounds a little strange to all of you. Every writer goes through dry spells from time to time. This is different for me though. I don’t know who I am without these words that I love so much. It’s the first sign that I’m allowing myself to slip back into old habits.
And I refuse to go backwards after everything I have fought for this past year.
That’s a promise to myself that I absolutely refuse to break.
I will only move forward. The woman I was last year brought me to who I am now, but she needs to stay in the past. I have respect for her. She forced herself to face some really difficult times and pushed herself out to the other side, but I fear I see myself retreating. It’s easy to go back to the way things were. I know that old person better than I know the new me. Last year, I could see her path and, while it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my dream. That life would have been nice, but I would have been just going through the motions. The life I’ve been striving for is downright frightening because it’s the unknown, but it’s a path I need to follow even if I fail.
When I started writing again, I felt like I was home. It was a feeling of comfort that I had forgotten about. Creating this blog, though, was right out of my comfort zone. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I’d rather die than be the center of attention. I’d much rather be in the back, watching, daydreaming my own stories. This blog put me front and center. I couldn’t hide behind it because I only know how to write the truth.
I mean, I think that’s obvious if you look back on any of my previous posts. I opened my heart and poured it into these posts. Who I am is out there for you all to see. This blog is all my joys, my sadness, my struggle, my reality. You are getting all of me. And I cringe every time I hit post; I don’t know if I’m more afraid of you all reading this or not reading it.
And that’s where I am my own contradiction.
People write blogs for others to read. That, right there, is asking for attention. But what if you all don’t like me? Think my writing is crap? Think my idiosyncrasies are insane? I thought, as an adult, that I would stop caring what others thought, but by putting my writing out here on the internet am I just kind of announcing “Hey, I’m a good writer so read this,” or “Please, just like me.”? Because that is not who I am. I’m more subtle. And, let’s be frank here, I really don’t think I am a good writer. I just enjoy writing. Kind of like singing: my car is a concert hall every time I’m driving, but I wouldn’t throw myself on stage and force people to listen to me. Just because you like something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the talent for it.
Something happened last week that caused me to text a very good friend those fears. What she sent back to me had me tearing up as I sat in the lobby of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute of the United States Senate waiting to hear Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley speak. My friend told me that my writing is amazing and that she wishes I could see myself and my talent as she does. I can’t say that my head believes her, but my heart needed those words. They were unexpected, but much appreciated. To that friend, you probably have no idea how much those text messages affected me so I’m telling you here: thank you.
That friend is why I am here tonight writing again.
She reminded me that I have so many people who believe in me even when I don’t believe in myself.
Writer’s block will not get the best of me.
I’ve struggled through this whole piece, but it’s here on my laptop screen, the cursor no longer blinking with nothing to show. My mind kicking and screaming like a toddler wanting me to stop, but still allowing the words to flow from my mind to my hands as I type.
I will not permit myself to lose this piece of me again.
I need to write just as I need to breathe.