It appears I rather suck at blogging. It’s not the blogging I suck at, actually, it’s the committing of time to get posts out into the world. One would think that right now that wouldn’t be an issue. I’m not currently working, nor am I setting aside time to search for a job. I’m in the process of trying to beat a chronic illness into recession, but other than that, my days are mine. Easy, right?
Nope. Not even a little bit. Why, you ask? I’m insecure.
I don’t speak for any other writer out there, but I’m a mess of insecurity. My inner editor isn’t just an editor. She’s a freaking demon sent from the bowels of hell to rip me to shreds. She delights in challenging my every move. Oh, she’s a smart one, this demon of mine. She must play chess with the devil, she’s such a good strategist.
She’s been my dirty little secret for years. I talk a good game. I know all the right words, all the right motions. I sit down and I can pound out a thousand words and think I’m pretty hot shit, the words are that good. Then she comes along with her red pen and slashes through everything. Every. Single. Word. She reminds me that I’m not good enough to lick the floor after any of my fiction writing idols have walked upon it. Sometimes I push back, click undo, and all those red strike-throughs disappear. And I read those words again and while I no longer think I’m hot shit, I do think there’s a definite kernel of awesome shining in there. I live for those days. God, it feels so good to kick her ass back to whatever slime pit she emerged from and dance around the room, whooping up a war cry that causes the dog to run and hide beneath the bed.
Most days I slowly close the laptop and slink away to my corner to think about what I’ve done. I feel bad and lonely and scared that no one else has a demon riding their shoulders. That I’m the only one who has to fight every day against the insecurity that, if allowed, would render me paralyzed. I was a psychologist, I know that part of what I feel is anxiety and that there’s a way to channel this anxiety into something creative. That with success, sitting down and putting those words on the page will be a little easier. Oh, I may always have to fight this demon, but I will retain more of my personal power rather than letting it slip away.
This weekend I thought about my current story. I’m doing a lot of character mining and getting to know just who the leads are. I’m also trying to figure out some plot points. I don’t do well with plotting. When I try, I feel stupid and I throw my hands in the air and rant and cry and wonder why on earth others can map out their stories so they can write more efficiently. I’ve made some peace with this, but with every book, I do try to figure out the beginning and the end. Hence the plot points.
A little voice inside kept telling me to just sit down. Just write. It’s all there rolling around in my brain. It won’t be a book until I write it.
And every time I opened the laptop or took out a notebook and pen, I froze. I could see my demon dancing in front of me, making faces, pointing and laughing. Who am I to try to write this book? All the others, they weren’t fit to show a single soul let alone try to sell. What makes me think this one will be any different. Dreamer. Loser.
I didn’t write this weekend. Due to my schedule, I won’t be writing more than scribbles in my notebook today. But you bet your ass I’ll be writing tomorrow. Why? What changed?
That little conniving demon actually served up something that hit home. I’m a dreamer. I gave up dreaming a few years ago, or thought I did. That’s a post for another day. What matters right now is that I believe once a dreamer, always a dreamer. I just put my dreaming on hiatus.
I’m a dreamer, and I am dreaming up this story about two people who find hope and love and acceptance. I dream this because this is what I want to live – a life of hope and love and acceptance. I think the world needs a whole heck of a lot more of these elements. I may not be able to change the world in which I live in big broad strokes, but I can definitely weave a tale that perhaps will touch others and let them live a moment where they see hope and love and acceptance coalesce. And maybe they will see themselves in the story. And if they do, maybe they will allow their inner dreamer out to play in the world.
And just maybe if there are enough stories about hope and love and acceptance, with enough dreamers reading them, this will spill out into the world, making it a better place. A place where we can banish our inner demons and laugh and dream and hope and love together.