Something I have realized in the last couple of days is that writing is more than something I do, it’s part of who I am. When I was in school I always assumed I would end up writing, somehow. Lack of confidence and fear both got in the way. If fear of judgment is the Boogie Man under the bed, then lack of confidence is almost certainly his bastard cousin. After awhile it started to seem like writing was a fantasy I’d had when I was young, and not a dream worthy of pursuing. How many people actually succeed anyway, and who was I to even hope to count myself among them? I didn’t have the confidence to try, and in every thoughtful critique I only heard, “You aren’t good enough.” So I stopped trying, and for the most part, I’d stopped writing. I had an idea for a children’s book a few years ago, and even wrote a couple of chapters. But eventually I got stuck, and I didn’t know how to move forward. Not being good at accepting constructive criticism didn’t help. As usual, fear had me at an impasse. I remember hearing the quote, “a writer writes, always,” and feeling like that meant I wasn’t a writer anymore because I did so little writing. This blog has changed my mind, though. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I feel like writing for a few days has suddenly turned me back into a writer. It’s more that I’ve recognized that writing is something that never left. It’s a part of me, whether I use it or not. I might be a better writer if I wrote more often, and I would almost certainly become a better writer if I could learn to accept criticism and advice without feeling like I’d been mortally wounded. But regardless, I am a writer. It’s important for me to say it out loud, to accept it. Denying a part of yourself is never a good idea.
I spend a lot of time, probably too much, gazing inward and wondering who I am and what I want. Writing is such a big part of that. What this blog has accomplished is to remind me of things that should have been obvious, but somehow weren’t. I’d lost a piece of myself, and I’m beginning to rediscover it. I shouldn’t need other people to tell me that I write well (although it doesn’t suck). I need to figure out how to find the confidence I need from within. I’m guessing that won’t be an overnight process.
I’m not sure where I was going with this. I wrote it very late last night (or actually very early in the morning), when my daughter was refusing to sleep. Unfortunately I wrote it on the Nook, in email, and it had two parts. The second part vanished, and I don’t remember exactly what it said. I suppose if it was important enough, I’ll remember it eventually. Thanks for bearing with me.