My latest crisis of faith is that I’m just not sure I have the fucking nerve to be a writer.
It’s 3:30 AM. I woke up for no reason a couple of hours ago, then decided to take advantage of being awake to work on this story I’ve been poking at for months. I’m trying to squish what I’ve got into something close to a final draft.
Also I’m playing around on Twitter and Facebook (and WordPress) and basically not doing anything about my alleged goal. I don’t think it’s really a laziness or attention span problem. It’s anxiety.
I’m not afraid of getting rejection emails. I’ve received countless numbers of those over the years. What’s bothering me is something deeper than that. I just can’t drum up the faith that these words I string together are actually worth anything.
Writing is kind of like staring yourself in the face. This is an unpleasant sensation. I’ve always dealt with insecurity bordering on self-loathing. This makes it difficult to bear seeing my thoughts – my self – all mapped out on a screen or in a notebook.
Why do I write at all? I don’t know! Sometimes I have faith in my characters even when I lack it in myself. I love those little guys. Sometimes they have things to say that might be worth hearing?
I have so many different goals – personal, creative, professional. Sometimes they’re aligned and sometimes they seem to conflict with each other. Sometimes it’s hard to get back to the root, that underlying push to just tell some stories that I’ve felt for as long as I can remember.
Why do you write? How do you write? How do you push past that nagging sensation that nothing you’re saying has any real merit?
One thought on “Writing Takes Some Gall”
I gave my manuscript in its third draft to two friends. Friends who weren’t so close that they would instantly see so much of me in the story that they wouldn’t be able to push past it. When I heard from them how much they enjoyed it, I knew I had something good. Maybe not a life-changing, earth shattering something, but at least something that someone would get so lost in that they almost missed their stop on the train (one of them told me she did that.) Coming back to that feeling gives me the boost I sometimes need to keep going.
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