Reading and Writing in Life's Margins

Yet Even More Excuses

Wow.  When was the last time I posted?  APRIL?  I last posted in APRIL?  That’s a really long time, isn’t it?  And man, does it suck.  Not because I have a horde of readers out there waiting for my next post with bated breath (I don’t), but because I basically broke a promise to myself, which is this:  I will blog, even if it hurts.  Sadly, I stopped blogging – it wasn’t even because it was particularly painful.  It was because I let work get the better of me AGAIN, and because I let my job be my only outlet for writing.  Again.  Except that’s not what it really is.

I’m human and (incidentally) inconveniently sickly – this constantly makes me think that I really, physically, cannot push myself to do any more work that I’m already doing.  The thing is, it’s only true to a certain extent.  You know the real reason why I haven’t been posting, and indeed, even writing stuff that I like?  It’s this:

The fear of not being good enough

It strikes you like a ninja in the kitchen. Unexpectedly, and with the bonus of ruining what would have been an awesome dinner.

I know.  Big whoop.  That doesn’t make me a special snowflake of the first water (I am aware that I’m mixing idioms here and I am sorry but that’s how I’m phrasing it in my head).  But at the same time, I still feel it.  Intellectually speaking, I know that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and stop it with the REALLY BAD ANTI-WRITING EXCUSES.  At the same time, I also need to acknowledge that fear.  Otherwise, I’ll repress it and create terrible work instead (this has happened to me before).

Where I went wrong, I think, is the point where I let the fear take over and pretended that it wasn’t in charge.  I masked the fear with “Oh, I’m too busy” and “Damn, I have writer’s block” or “I’m too tired to think”.  The last one is often true, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t other times during which I was perfectly capable of working on something I like.  But really, it was all fear;  fear that whatever I type will end up sucking, and that it will hurt so very much because this is something I’m doing for myself.

I know I’m a good writer, because I make a very good living out of it; it’s just that I trust myself more when I’m writing for others than when I’m writing for myself.  That’s an entire barrel of worms that I may want to explore someday (possibly in this blog), but at the moment all I can think of is how I failed to finish a poem for NaPoWriMo and missed that End of the World Deadline because I’m afraid that I’m not good enough.  Somehow, I’ve accepted the idea that my excellent work as a copywriter for the Internet means I’ll never be as good in other writing disciplines.  I have stopped believing in the idea that I am creative or talented enough to warrant attention from “official” voices in particular communities.  Somehow, that became more important to me than what made me pick up this blog in the first place – the fact that I love reading, and I love thinking about what I read, love showing off what I learned from reading (which is often “how to write/how to NOT write”).  I keep forgetting, even as I type this, that everything I type here is for me.

This is my breathing space, and I let people – who likely don’t read this blog anyway –  affect how I see it and myself.  I felt, and still feel, so broken and tired.  I almost deleted this blog, to be honest.  It was another sign of my failure to commit to myself.

Then, a few days ago, I met up with some friends.  And one of them brought up Akhilandeshvari, the Goddess of Never Not Broken.  It wasn’t meant to apply to me, of course – at the time, I honestly felt fine right where I was.  It wasn’t until the day after that I realized just how terrified I was of my own life.  The fact that I also started reading Tuesdays with Morrie – for the first time!  on a Tuesday! – probably contributed too.  Either way, the very idea of letting my fears get the better of me, and letting small tasks get in the way of what’s important, started to really bug  me.  It’s time for me to ride that croc (if you clicked that Never Not Broken link, you will understand, I promise) and try something new.  Not that this blog is something new – but my approach to this blog, from this point forth, WILL be new.  Rather than making a thing that I MUST do and treat it like a task, I will let it grow as I feel.  I will let myself feel the fear and then – and this is the important part – I will let myself know it, understand it, and either wield it or let it go.

I will let myself have a different story, as needed.  I will NOT make this a routine.  I will not hinge the fate of this blog on other plans.

I will not care if this is a success or a failure, as I have previously defined it (I admit it, part of me wanted this blog to be popular – and that’s wrong on so many levels).  I started applying the principles of my job to this blog, and that’s ultimately what sucked the fun out of it.

Sure, I’ll still do the odd challenge – I definitely need to finish the Mechanistic Moth Writing Challenge – but I will not be forcing myself to write on this blog for the sake of being a writer anymore.  Instead, I’ll be posting here because I need this space.  To think.  To breathe.  To be (or not to be, in that this is a respite from my social roles).

And, ironically, I have decided to do this by forcing myself to write here again by dropping $26 so I can remove “wordpress” from this blog’s URL.  Somehow, having paid for this blog is giving me a better perspective – I spent money on it, so I owe it to myself to enjoy it.  Most importantly, now it is truly mine.

So here I am again.  I hope I get it right this time. :)

That being said, what have YOU guys been up to?

Comments on: "Yet Even More Excuses" (5)

  1. Welcome back! And don’t sweat the small stuff. The first half of your entry sounds like I feel a lot of the time and probably how lots of writers feel a lot of the time. Do what you can when you can and be great at it!

    Tuesday’s With Morrie is a good book but I generally dislike Mitch Albom’s pandering, overly emotional writing style. That said, I read and enjoyed all his books. But wasn’t proud of it.

    • Thank you for the encouragement! :) I really do appreciate you dropping by.

      As for the pandering, overly emotional writing style Mitch Albom adopts…I’ll have to admit that I like it, given the context of his themes and the context of my life right now. A pleasure is a pleasure, no matter how “guilty” we think it should be.

      Heck, I read romance novels just because they’re fun. ;)

  2. So glad to see you back. I too have allowed blogging to fall by the wayside lately. With taking on all the new social media stuff that a writer is expected to develop, it suddenly became too much. But, I’ve been feeling more comfortable with much of it lately, figuring out how to enjoy myself with FB, twitter, etc. I’ve joined the WANA Tribe, which is a community of writers that was started by a great lady, Kristen Lamb, and I actually enjoy chatting with some writerly folks there, real-time, and looking around at the growing pool of support and resources. It’s starting to seem more fun… more natural.

    One of my problems: I follow so many blogs, that it was becoming a task to plow through all my emails every week. (I imagine many bloggers have this problem.) I’m learning that I don’t have to be a slave to all of it. I am not obligated to always read and like and comment on every… single… one. LOL

    Why is it so easy to bury ourselves under these ipressures? Glad you are seeing your way through it! Have fun!

    • I know exactly what you mean about the social media stuff. While I don’t really do it as a writer, it’s part of my job in SEO to get into some social networks as well as read other blogs that help me generate ideas and do my job better. The information overload can be exhausting. It’s nice to know you’re getting the hang of it – I’m still trying to balance things out. :))

      I think we’re burying ourselves under the pressures because knowing/learning everything can make us feel more in control? Maybe that’s just me, though. And I’ll definitely try to have more fun with this this time around.

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