Monday, July 22, 2013

Where do we go from here?

*resists breaking into You Must Love Me*

I rather feel as if I'm beginning a whole new blogging journey today... it's been so long since I've been on here that it's almost like a brand-new blog.  You can just picture me being Chauvelin in a long beard saying that I have no memory of this place.

Guilt is the main reason I haven't been on here.  It doesn't stem from my lack of blogging--though if I had more of a conscience in that respect, it would--but from my lack of writing in general.  Reading others' writing blogs has only served to increase the feeling of shame.  I'd been about ready to trash all my documents and go hide under my bed until any and all writerly feelings had passed me by.

That is, if my bed were high enough off the ground to actually hide under.  Which it isn't.  I can fit shirt boxes under there and that's about it.

I think every writer struggles with self-doubt from time to time.  You can't cure it by grinning cheesily at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself to hold your chin up and just keep swimming.  I know, because I've tried that.  You can't cure it by reading other people's writing blogs or manuscripts and hoping you'll absorb some of their inspiration by osmosis.  Trust me on that one, too.  That one in particular will only make your symptoms worse.

So what's the cure for that feeling of inadequacy where writing is concerned?

To be honest, I don't think there really is one.  I don't think any writer will ever arrive at the place where he or she can sit back and say, "Yes, good, I am now the best writer I could ever be and I will never doubt myself or lose inspiration or be unable to think of anything to say ever again--goodness, look at the time, I better go feed my unicorn."  I mean, that would be a ridiculous thing to say.  Unicorns don't even exist.

But though you may never conquer writer's block, there comes a time when you realize you simply can't give up.  Or at least, that's how it was for me.

I kinda wanted to give up.  A part of me wanted to say, "You know what, I'm no good at this balderdash and I'm going to push it away for good and find a new hobby.  Besides, I don't really have time to write anyway."   And yet a bigger part of me wouldn't let myself do that.  Because like it or not, words are in my blood.  (Or in my brain, anyway.  That sounds less weird.)  I can't escape from writing.  Every thought, every emotion has to be formed into a sentence before I can let it go.  Sheesh, I narrate my own actions in my head.  In third person, no less.  Everything I do and see and feel and hear points back to writing somehow-- whether it's giving me an idea for a character or providing a snippet of dialogue or posing a plot question or just making me want to put it into words for no reason at all.

I can't escape writing.
I don't want to.

I can't rid myself of the dragons that say You'll Never Be One Of Them.  ("Them," of course, refers to the literary giants such as Jane Austen and her ilk.)  But I don't have to listen to them.  At least not all the time.  I can't always write what I want to write.  I can't always move past guilt and writer's block and lack of inspiration.  But I can be a writer.  I can put words on a page.  Those words can stink, but they're still words, and each one that I type brings me a little closer to a finished book.

So here I am, back again, taking on the world with my laptop keyboard.  I feel pretty invincible right now.  It all seems new again... and I have plots and peoples calling my name.  

I don't know how I possibly managed to desert them for so long.