It’s not what I expect to hear myself say on a normal day. It’s not what I’d say on any day, to be more precise.
I’ve always been a rule-driven person. Why? I’m not so sure. It’s not so much a nurturing principle as it is a natural instinct. Order comforts me, soothes me and covers me like a warm blanket on a cold, winter’s night. (It’s nearly summer now but that’s besides the point).
Ever since the beginning of the year a part of me wanted to streamline this entire act of blogging and bring some order and structure into the process. Why? Was I trying to prove a point to the world at large or was I doing it as a way to soothe my inflated ego? Oh, we’ve all got those egos, let’s not kid ourselves; we’re self-obsessed.
As a famous movie character once asked sardonically, ‘Well, what do you think a blog is?’
No, the reason I wanted structure was so I could participate in the community aspect of blogging and a tiny part of me hoped that it would also allow me time to focus on my memoir. Oh gosh, that damn thing is never going to get written, is it? I mean, for the number of times I have spoken about it, I positively cringe any time someone casually asks me in passing, ‘So, how’s the book coming along?’
What do I say? Do I smile self-deprecatingly and say ‘Oh, it’s going on?’ Or do I shuffle my feet in embarrassment and admit that it hasn’t moved an inch past what I achieved back in November during the NaNoWriMo?
The crushing truth of the matter came home to me a few minutes ago and the feeling was so overpowering that I broke one of my first rules of blogging and wrote a second blog post in a single day. (For the record, it’s bad form. Don’t do it!)
And the truth is this: I’ve not pushed myself to do it because I haven’t ‘felt’ it. Ugh, just writing that is making me nauseous. I have no right to call myself a writer. None.
I have none of the resolve of a budding author brimming with the fire of agony to see one’s name in print. I shy away from the possibility of a bad review of my yet-to-be-published memoir (perhaps never-to-be-published). I make excuses. Damn, I make excuses!
But that’s the point about writing. It should compel you, overwhelm you, squeeze your innards so hard that you cannot breathe until you’ve got those words out in your word processor or diary. Because everything else is a feeble excuse that falls by the wayside when you attempt to sheepishly grin, shrug and say, ‘I’ll write when I feel like it.’
When am I going to feel like it? Tomorrow, the day after, next week, next month? When? There is never going to be a right time! Ever. Something will always come up- work commitments, blogging calendar, social media engagement- the bloody list is endless and unforgivably so!
I’ve got cheerleaders in the wings- the silent, hidden friends who say, ‘I’m here for you and I believe you can do it.’ I’m beginning to think they need to up their game and oh, I don’t know, hold a gun to my head? Then I wonder, why is this their role? They are here to motivate me, not help me actually write. No, I’ve got to do that. Alone.
And that’s not going to happen unless I break some self-imposed rules of blogging and wriggle out of the shell of complacence and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Do I want to see the work out there? Yes!
Do I want to be a published writer? Hell, yeah!
So what on earth am I doing, sitting around making excuses, frittering away my time on social media and ‘building a brand’ when I can be using all that time to study the craft of writing, hone my senses, listen to the right voices?
Why am I not writing?
Your guess is as good as mine. Time to pick up the slack.