I want to be a writer.  

I want to sit down at my desk, paint amazing pictures with words and look back on my work as a sign of a life well done.  I want to write.

I used to be a writer.  I used to be a person on pace to do exactly as I detailed above, my entire life.  Then one day, instead of being a writer, I became afraid.  There is enough going on in my life to spread the blame for my lack of words around, but at its core has always been fear.  Fear of my own voice, of baring my soul to a broader scope of strangers and even of failure.

Kudos can be a drug.  Hearing how “great” you are can be addictive; so addictive that you don’t want to hear anything else.  Let’s cut the shit:  Hearing how “great” I was became MY addiction, to the point that the idea of writing something mediocre or even terrible horrified me.  And then my addiction to kudos somehow spiraled into self-doubt.  I can’t be that great.  Am I just being pacified by people too polite to dissent?  The few words I was able to scrawl out felt forced and dishonest.

Admittedly, my son becoming ill was a factor in my lack of production.  I didn’t want my blog to become a “cancer journal,” because so much of this story is not mine to tell.  But I write (or try to write) from the heart, and the thing heaviest in my heart was his illness.  Everything not about hospitals, immune system counts and endless gratitude seemed forced.  Also, I feared being judged for talking about “regular” things.  People say that cancer shouldn’t take over your life, and you’re still a human.  But try talking about love or anything else outside of the narrow box cancer creates for you.  Not in the abstract; but the very present possibility of those things.  You WILL be reminded that you have bigger fish to fry.  I wasn’t ready to have my blog subjected to that type of scrutiny.

I was reminded this morning that if you want to be great, you have to abandon fear; in life and writing.  So I’m back.  I’m here.  I’m fearless.  I’m ready to write.  The words won’t always be perfect, but neither am I.  Come back anyway.

Posted on by BeeJack70128 in Golden 4 Comments

4 Responses to Imperfect

  1. Kristy

    I love it! Welcome back #WriteOn

  2. Shug

    My boo-boo!!! Yes, I want to get back in the game too. But I read this and it helped me. :)

    “One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.” – Marshall Vandruff

  3. Mel Johnson

    Thank you this. You spoke the words my soul has been too afraid to write. I needed to remember what was actually holding me back. The culprit for my lackluster productivity was pure lilly-livered fear, not my own near fatal illness and mind-numbingly slow recovery. So thank you sister, I’ll be watching (and reading) as you face your fears and hopefully I’ll be brave enough to do the same.

  4. Brendan

    Congrats on getting past that fear! I am working on that block for my own self as a writer and in life more broadly. Your post was a helpful reminder that it’s possible to overcome the obstacles life puts in our way, or those we create in reaction to life events.

    “In the philosopher’s words, we curse the obstacles of life as though they were devils. But they are not devils. They are obstacles.” — John Erskine, from “The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent”

    (obviously the following should be adjusted for gender, but still…)

    “People who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are. That man who is forced each day to snatch his manhood, his identity, out of the fire of human cruelty that rages to destroy it knows, if he survives his effort, and even if he does not survive it, something about himself and human life that no school on earth and, indeed, no church can teach. He achieves his own authority, and that is unshakeable.” — James Baldwin, from *The Fire Next Time*


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