Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Insomniac Speaks, er, Writes

I have been writing more, mostly in my journal late at night. Here's last night's entry:

January 3, 2009 at something like two in the morning.

Lately I fele like I want to give up on writing. But then I realize that I haven't given it a real fair shake. And there are so many people who believe in me. Why can't I believe in myself more? Good question. I am scared that I will fail again. Scared that I will be laughed at and considered a hack or not be taken seriously. And after the year I've had, I don't know that I can give it a real shot. My confidence, the thing that I've been working hard to cultivate for the last year or so, is shaken pretty badly. I gave it my best shot and I failed. Really, this was a major setback. This was the voice inside of me saying, "I told you so." And I am afraid to try again, but really, I am more afraid of never trying. So I need to keep going. I need to wrap up the mourning, close out the pity party, put on my big girl shoes and push on. Because as bad as this feels, giving up and resigning myself to a life of quiet desperation would be worse.

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So, I lie in bed and write in my head. Sometimes, I put it in my journal. Sometimes, I post it here. Sometimes, I just leave it in my head. I'm bursting with things to say, but I can't seem to get it all down. That makes no kind of sense. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't have to show anyone anything I write. I can keep it to myself if I think it sucks. The important thing is getting it all out, because right now it is all keeping me up.

This is actually not as bad as it seems. A few months ago I couldn't write anything down. The well was dry. Now I don't feel like I need to push. The words are coming faster and easier than before, sometimes I can't keep up. It's not the actual writing that's the issue (OK, maybe a little), it's what to do with it. It's being brave enough to share it with anyone at all. I want to, but I'm scared, like I said.

You might be wondering what I'm going to do about all of this inner conflict. Step one: keep writing. No matter what. Step two: keep reading. Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird is helping me get my thoughts in some kind of order and I have another book about memoir writing on its way to me. Step three: find a great coach and a great workout buddy. E. is always there when I need her guidance, humor, honesty and general fantasticness. T. and I have made a deal to meet regularly to talk about writing, share our work and work together. Step four: don't stop believing.

It's actually a little bit exciting, the idea of having a real project to work on, having other writers to talk to and work with, making myself make something of all of these stories. I don't know what it's going to become, but it could be the start of something good for me.

2 comments:

soundbear69 said...

You know I don't say this without really thinking about it... back to school with you.

ia said...

Winston Churchill said "Never, never, never never give up." Someone a little less famous said "Para adelante, para atras ni para coger impulso." I believe both of them but more importantly, I believe in YOU!
Love you to the moon & back!