This post was salvaged from an old blog I kept in 2005. The goal was to write every day, though I didn’t quite meet that goal. Several of the posts explored the creative process — and my creative process in particular. I’m sharing them here in a “blast from the past” series.
Today’s post was originally published on March 30, 2005.
books, working, and anger & fear
The past few months I have been reading a few books about writing. A cute “Peanuts”-inspired tome that spoke about Charles Schultz and had a number of successful writers reflecting on aspects of the writing life with references to Snoopy’s attempts at the craft. A writer’s “handbook” that has proved inspirational in identifying problems in my approach to life as a writer and resulted in this blog. A few days ago Johnna found a book written by Rita Mae Brown at a thrift store (get this: 25 cents!!) that is also providing me with much inspiration and a framework for my thoughts about becoming a working writer.
Essentially that is the difference between myself and those who are published: we all are writers, but they are working writers. They have found a way (well, many different ways as no two follow the same path) to write for a living. I have spent the last twenty years of my life writing because I have no choice. No. I have spent the last twenty years with the urges to write and something writing. Much of my time has been spent arguing with myself about my ability to write and my need to write and whether I have any right to write. The result of that battle is that I’ve stifled my creativity into the belief I have nothing to say and, therefore, nothing to write. What a waste of talent and time that could have been spent honing my craft.
Hmmm…..it seems I have some very repressed anger at myself lurking beneath the surface. How could I let myself be trapped like this? How could I sell myself on the idea that there was nothing to write because MY voice doesn’t matter?? What the f*** was I thinking all these years? I KNOW I have a talent for writing and even speaking. I was born to be a communicator and there was no reason to sit around for twenty years thinking that nothing I have to say is important — waiting around for something significant to happen to me or for some divine inspiration to appear and infuse me with words worth sharing with the world. My experiences, my thoughts, my dreams, my ideas ARE worth sharing — they probably won’t resonate with everyone and maybe most people will think they are worthless, but somewhere, someone WILL value them and WILL be grateful that I wrote them. The point is to connect with someone, not to sell to everyone. And I have been (with a few exceptions) cutting myself off from this wonderful energy exchange out of Self-induced fear. Well, f*** that.