Friday, September 20, 2013

The Problems with Being a Writer...

People ask me what I do. I tell them I'm spending the next couple of months writing. And then they assume that I am a writer (which I am... because I write) but also assume a bunch of other things that make me feel like a failure (which I'm not--I'm just not a success... yet).

1. People ask how many books you've published. (Me: 0)
2. Then they assume you are a blogger. (Me: Well, I have a blog but I'm not a "blogger")
3. They assume you spend all day in a coffee shop. (Me: Not yet.)

Those problems come from other people perceptions. They are really very minor because if you are writing from home you don't actually meet very many people who will ask these questions. The bigger problems are more internal.

For me, the biggest problem  is--

You have to let your inner voice and creativity loose. (Me: Scared spitless.)

I have spent the last year and a half drowning my inner dialogue out as much as possible. Imagine the small child with its hands over its ears singing "la la la la la". Yeah, that's me.

At first I think it was the memories, the fear, the loss. All of that had to be quiet so that I could figure out how to just do the basics, like not getting lost in a new city. There's not much time for inner dialogue when you are still trying to figure out how people dress and what you can make for dinner using ingredients you haven't used in six years.

Then later on, those things became normal again. The produce section was no longer terrifying and the rest of the grocery store didn't wear me out for a whole day. (I do admit that I still avoid the cereal aisle and the laundry detergent aisle. I bought my laundry soap online last time.) At that point, there was enough space in my life. I could have stopped yelling. But I didn't. I was afraid.

I still am afraid. I'm a master escape artist. I know how to get away from myself; I've had plenty of practice.

So this is me... calling out the fears and lies for what they are. Nonsense. Sure--I'm weird, wacky, ugly-beautiful, and all sorts of other things on the inside. I will kneel down and meet face to face the monster that lives under the bed and helps to protest for the rights of dust bunnies. There are spiders in the attic and they are big enough to be heard at night. The floorboards creak and light bulbs flicker. But I am not alone.

No comments: