Do you worry? Well, that seems rather like a foolish question, considering we all worry at some point or another. But, as a writer, do you worry that you are not doing the best you can?
Writing fiction and creative non-fiction is a relatively new realm for me. Yes, I have been blogging for nearly eight years now but getting down to serious writing only began about two years ago. My Twitter bio has ‘writer’ in the description and there are days that I doubt the veracity of that statement.
What exactly is it that causes me to doubt myself? The fact that I may not be good enough for people to read is something that overwhelms me every alternate day. I am not discounting the numerous bloggers who read my posts and who genuinely appreciate what I have to say. Without them, I may not have taken up writing the way I did. In fact, I feel downright guilty about not returning the favour on most days.
Then, there’s always the niggling feeling that my best work is not out there. There are days that I dash off a post in under thirty minutes and when I go back to read it, the sheer lunacy of having put it up there for public viewing strikes me in the gut.
This jostles for worrying space along with my third problem which doesn’t happen very often, but does strike on occasion: Not knowing how to say what I want to say. The number of posts lying in my draft folder- well, let’s not go there right now. Instead, let’s talk about how you have something bursting out of you, but you don’t get the right words to express it well enough. Those days a wave of emotions surges within me, urging to break free of the dam of conscience and propriety, but is held back by a nameless power.
And for all of that, I have the same excuse: I don’t get enough time in a day. The truth is, I don’t make time in a day. Not nearly enough. There is always that laundry to fold or the dishes to wash or that last-minute dash to the store for a school assignment that comes in the way. Then, there are those pointless things such as Facebook’s news feed or the instantly-updated Twitter timeline and that ridiculous article on why Kim Kardashian broke the Internet or whether that dress was really white and gold! The excuses are, frankly, endless and it sickens me right to the gut of my writing soul.
Should I even be calling myself a writer at this point? I am far more content to churn out blog posts, live in a comfortable cocoon of predictable outcomes and not do anything drastic to upset the apple-cart of expectations. But where is the joy in that?
Where is the beauty of a piece that has characters jump off the page and challenge you with their dilemmas and worries? Where is that spark that ignites all writing, firing it up at the hearth and shooting off glorious displays of ravishing beauty to reel the reader in?
I know it’s in there and I know I just need to sit down and write it all out.
I know this.
Yet, I don’t do it. Not all the time.
And that, unfortunately, is my biggest worry of all.