Fearing Writing

I used to love  LOVE writing.

Every moment I was at home from sixth grade to my senior year of high school, I sat in front of my computer and wrote. It wasn’t an obligation, but it was an action just as necessary as breathing. Words flew from my fingertips that didn’t need inspiration just a crease to jump through. I wasn’t making masterpieces, yet I found excitement as I paused and stared at the screen in awe of the world or the moment that spilled onto the monitor. It was something beyond me, something that I hadn’t created, it was something that I tapped into and was delivering to the world.

I would write as if no one was watching and I would share unfinished and typo filled work with world. There were no worries about being good, but when people noticed the improvement I felt a pride. But that pride or external response didn’t drive me. It was that love, that search for the next story or the next detail that was just around the corner. I reached a point where I stopped and looked around at what I was creating and I spoke aloud that I wanted to be a writer, and just like that everything changed.

I don’t write as regularly as I used to. In fact, I often don’t write at all. There are ideas that bounce inside of my head but they are often checked by the fear that I am not good enough. That I can’t do these ideas justice, or the fear of the grueling feeling writing has taken over the years. I became more Sisyphus than Icarus, and the thought of pushing the boulder up the hill was so daunting that I stopped.

Writing was a love that became past tense. That locked my creativity in chains and because it no longer felt good, I ran away from it. I didn’t see myself as a writer, and while I flirted with other forms of creativity they often lost their luster as well.

I still don’t find inspiration in external sources. Even when a former professor told me I was a writer, I couldn’t muster the courage to push through. I found external comparisons enough to stop me, and they would allow me to look back and regret what I never did.

I have ideas that I came up with over a decade ago that still haven’t seen the light of day. Ideas that came to me fully formed. I want to love to write again, but I don’t know if I can. The same way we can no longer recapture the innocence of our convictions as children when you see the way the world works.

I don’t believe I am a great writer but do I really have to be? What if I only write for me? Where could that possibly lead? These are the questions I think of when this topic comes up. Truth is the only way to see is by actually writing.

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