When I was writing my novel, I learned to delete without fear. I think a lot of people fear that if they delete what they write, they won’t be able to write anything as good as what they deleted. I don’t want to speak for […]
Every day when I stop writing, I know exactly where I want to go in the next installment. But then people contact me to tell me different stories and things they are going through themselves. These stories give greater breadth to my own thinking, and […]
I wrote this blog post and the next as one long blogpost, but I am trying very hard not to wear you out with my tendency to write long. I wanted to address some of the comments I got in response to Part 6 of The Story I Never Tell before proceeding with Part 7 of my story but the two combined made for a blogpost that was simply too long for modern sensibilities and reading on phones. So I split it. I’m thinking that I will release this one tonight to just get it out of the way and then tomorrow I will release Part 8 so we keep it moving over here. The reason I want so much to share this, is that it has become clear to me that I’m not the only one suffering these same sorts of insecurities. So as I gain insights or as I think things through, I thought, maybe some of you might find these thoughts helpful. So, I’m digressing as I go, because whatever. It’s not a book. It’s a blog.
Funny thing: so many people contacted me after my last blogpost apologizing all over themselves thinking they were the person I was talking about in that post. AND, so many people contacted me after that last blogpost telling me that they too suffered with crippling fear and shame that kept them from doing the thing they were meant to do and that their friends often gave them well meaning suggestions that only made them feel worse.
Lesson I’m learning: whenever we feel like we are the only ones going through what we are going through, we aren’t. So we might as well not add to our list of self-imposed burdens the added burden of being ashamed of ourselves for feeling the way we do. Clearly, this is a common human condition. Knowing that helps me. If you are reading this and you feel this way, know that a lot of other people told me they feel this way too, so you aren’t alone, and we aren’t alone. We are all sand and water, mud and clay.
When you are convinced that what you are doing may be a little maudlin, a little ridiculous, a little worthless, and then someone tells you what you should be doing instead, you don’t hear it with the voice in which the person offered it; you hear it with the voice you are already using to talk to yourself. In the case of the many people who have given me their suggestions for what I should consider writing, most of them are just excited to see me writing again and their excitement is manifesting as “solutions.” I tell you I’m tired, you tell me, “have you tried Gingko Biloba?”
In the case of the one friend I was writing about, she offered her thought for a completely different reason. She wasn’t offering solutions at all. She said what she said out of fear that putting myself out there might rock an unsteady boat and end up collapsing me again. She’s been with me from the beginning of the journey, she knows how far I fell, she knows how hard I struggle, and she is afraid that putting it all out there will result in the same consequences I suffered before, and it will make me collapse again. She offered it with love and fear, not with eagerness and excitement like the others. There was no criticism for the work or for the project; she wasn’t saying that I or it was ridiculous. She wants me to write a novel, not because that’s what she thinks I should be doing rather than my silly blog but because writing a novel is quiet, inward, private work. It cannot rock an unsteady boat right now. It can be written, shared with my agent, bought by a publishing house, edited, and published without my saying a single public word until the whole thing is done, without its ever being a subject of conversation. Writing a novel buys me years of time. My dear friend wants me to write a novel because she wants me safe, because she loves me. I read her wrong because I don’t always love myself.
But this is the year the dragon roots out the fucks and burns them to ashes. I’m writing what I’m writing whether or not it leads me to dangerous places because when I’m done writing it, the dragon-burnt ashes of my fucks will be scattered to the far reaches of the planet and I would not recognize them as the remains of my fucks if they were to swirl up into a fuck-shaped cloud and shout me their fuck yous. So I understand her now. It took a day to decipher. And now, we move on.