To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a–OOh, something shiny!
That wierdness pretty much explains the times I’m having now. Writing is something I love doing, and it’s definitely one of the things that I would prioritize if I could. That said, nobody else seems to want to LET me prioritize it.
But before I get geared up for another whine fest, I’d like to share–probably more for my own benefit than for yours–something that someone very wise (and very cool) recently told me. “Take yourself seriously. Published or unpublished, you are a writer.”
Basically, that’s what my hesitation boils down to. The impression (realistic or not) that what I’m doing isn’t as important or as “legit” as spending nine+ hours a day getting paid to sit in a chair and answer phones or type things like “transient ischemic attack” and “hyperbilirubinemia” into a computer program. Ot that the stories my imagination cranks out at random are frivolous when compared to statistics, or grocery shopping. Or running for an hour on the treadmill.
In a sense, this lesson can be applied to anything a person does that can be classified as a passion instead of just a job. Let’s say, for example, you really like doing finger paintings. Or, maybe you would love to spend six hours a day knitting, if you could. The same advice can be applied to you: “Take yourself seriously. Professional or beginner, you are a ________.” (Insert: finger painter, knitter, exhibitionist, etc. in the blank space.) If there’s something you always wanted to grow up to be, then it’s not selfish or stupid in any way for you to invest your time in doing that thing.
It’s during times like these (and by that I mean right now, this VERY second) that I am fortunate enough to begin on an incoherant rant and end with a moment of brief, yet startling moments of clarity. As I blindly write, I’m forced to akgnowledge how much of my writing is actually for myself. The answer is, most of it, actually. I don’t blog because I worry what people are going to think. (Though, maybe I should worry about that a little more often)
When it comes down to it, I’m not writing this novel (or this blog) because I feel like I’ll be letting someone down if I don’t. It’s more that I feel the need to finish it, to show myself that I can. And because I know myself well enough to realize that if I don’t turn my inner machinations into something solid, I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering what might have happened… What changes I could’ve made in the world, if only I hadn’t hoarded them.
In the end, what’s the worst that could happen? Nobody reads it but me. So what? At least I’ll still be able to hold it in my hands and say to myself, “this is something you created.”
Compared to that feeling, what the hell kind of power can a little case of writer’s block have?