I stare at the blank page. Agonizing minutes tick by–still nothing. I glare at the blank page. It glares back, taunting me to dare try and fill it with my words. I try. My brain scrambles to make some connections. I have all the thoughts necessary, swirling about in my mind, but I can’t put them together in the exact way I want, so I give up. It’s maddening.
Suddenly, I’m compelled to jot down a sentence that seems to have materialized out of thin air. Almost like I’m waiting for the channel on the radio to cut through all the static. A huge release, it flows out in a burst. I read the sentence. I love it, it’s perfect! I reread the sentence. I hate it, it’s horrible. I cut half of it out, slashing through it with my pen like a knife. I can’t possibly show anyone this sentence–these words that sprang from my mind. Exposing my view of the world. What if they don’t like it? What if they ridicule it? Will I ever know truly what others will think of me? Do I dare publish or not? Eventually, I decide that I have to do it, no matter the consequences. I take the plunge off the cliff and scream all the way down. Other times, I blindly, happily jump off the cliff. Who cares what others think? In the end, it’s me I’m afraid of–my own worst critic.
What is it about writing that is so torturous? They’re only words, right? Yet they have the power to connect, to empower, to inspire. But we hold onto them so tightly, like we’re giving up our newborn child. We pray to God that others will cradle our baby and show it some appreciation and love. Isn’t that all we want?
Do other artists feel this way? I’m sure they do. Do painters paint about how they struggle with painting? Does a musician play music that illustrates how hard it is to come up with a melody? Writers are a unique breed. We write about writing. We write about how we can’t write. When I read my writing, it’s never good enough, I could edit until the end of the world. Sure, someone might come along and tell you they like it. But then you have to write again, starting all over. There’s always the possibility you won’t be able to, and that is scary.
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. Mostly in private. I wrote about a young girl detective agency and the mysteries they’d solve. Once I took a chance and read my stories to my best friend. She loved it and wanted more. That was it for me. I was hooked. I’ve written short stories and personal journals ever since. I started blogging with only one thought in mind. I wanted to get the thoughts out. I have been an observer most of my life. Very quiet and introspective. Naturally, I have feelings about certain subjects and life. I can’t afford a therapist so I realized blogging might help quiet the voices. Now I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love to make that instant connection with others. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than the high of knowing I’ve made someone laugh with my words. Before, I didn’t know others out there had my same sense of how absurd things tend to be in this world. It gives me a thrill beyond words (it’s nice to be speechless for once!)
Like you, my blog is my baby. Like you, I want it to be treated with respect and support. It’s my place where I bravely put my thoughts out there, either to be scrutinized or enjoyed. I have to be willing to welcome both. That is terrifying at times. But I value these connections because without them, why write in the first place? I have a feeling you know exactly what I mean with this post. You are a writer. I am a writer. And I am honored to be blogging and connecting with other writers who know exactly how I feel.
Isn’t that the main goal in the first place?
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing
guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity
is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath
I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~James
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being
there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir
Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some
place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until
drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its
writing. ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela
Writing is a struggle against silence. ~Carlos Fuentes
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside
you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~Arthur
Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself. ~Franz
Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its
roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to
die if you were forbidden to write. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
Writing is hard, but sometimes, it’s not. ~Darla, She’s a Maineiac
(This post was inspired by two of my favorite bloggers, Lenore of Lenore Diane’s Thoughts Exactly and Priya of Partial View and their posts: Lenore’s Read my words: I am a writer and Priya’s Musings of an ordinary blog writer. Thanks for the inspiration and thank you to all of my fellow bloggers out there.)