so, i have always loved writing. i always enjoy the control of it, the catharsis, the release, the power. i love the creation and evolution and even organization of written words. not to sound trite, but i have been writing as long as i can remember- even going so far as getting caught and BUSTED in 4th grade for a naughty illustrated short story called “HORNY MOANA.” but as life went on, reality and the BIGPEOPLE WORLD clouded my brain from ever becoming a successful writer. self doubt, improbability and the general PIPE DREAM of being an accomplished writer was squashed dead, like the proverbial cockroach. i can look back to a period of almost a decade where i believed writing to be such a farfetched fantasy that i didnt write ANYTHING AT ALL. no real surprising coincidence that it was about the time of my FIRST GREAT DEPRESSION….
something inside broke and i was unable to process any of my emotions which all seemed to be fighting to try and get out at once. i hated so much about my life, my self, my everything. i cried nonstop for days and days. my brain was short-circuiting and i couldnt figure out what to do, so i picked up a notebook and started to write again.
i remember writing for two days solid. it was dark and sinister, cruel and cold, and moreover, it was barely legible. but it didnt matter. words spewed forth and as if by magick, disappeared into the universe. so writing was back on the menu, and for awhile, was all the mental medication i needed. after awhile BIGPEOPLE life got in the way again, and started taking over my writing time, until it was little more than a scribbled sentence or two on a napkin.
once again, unsurprisingly, my depression hit back, and even harder this time, cracking me in the back of my skull with a diagnosis of “agoraphobia”, “acute chronic depression” and “social anxiety disorder.” great. add to that absolutely no self confidence, rotten self esteem and harshly critical unsupportive peers that said that writing was a ridiculous waste of time, even as a mere hobby. my writing career was over before it was even a seed in my brain.
many more braincloudy years passed, and i kept ticking down time, slogging through housewifery and reality television, until one day i rediscovered one of my old journals. it was if i actually could hear the light come on again, and i began to write again. i described my painful and lonely journey through depression and as before, felt myself blossoming back to life. in that moment, i realized that writing was one of the only things that made sense to me, and that it was something i had to do. i realized that i HAD to be a writer. that as a hobby, or dabbler or a full-blown best selling novelist, that by goddess, i had to write. that was almost a decade ago and since then, i have been making AND TAKING steps to living my fully realized dream; becoming a professional (and paid) writer.
this is a scary thing, a daunting task. an unbelievably, impossibly stupid goal uphill, both ways, in the snow. and i realize this is the hokey schmaltz back-story of most writers, especially since i love what i write and i always have. HOWEVER, i rarely, until recently have ever shared my work, so based my confidence of my writing SOLELY on my own opinions. the times when i allowed others to read things, all have been very well received, with loads of compliments and pats on the back. but, i’m not that easily convinced and still doubt my writing ability. i have since named this “THE AMERICAN IDOL COMPLEX.” THE AMERICAN IDOL COMPLEX is when starry-eyed and naive people go on American Idol because their family and some people at a karaoke bar in a bo dunk town told them that they were “the best singer they ever heard.” they have unnecessarily and totally inaccurate assessments and opinions of themselves, and ultimately end up looking like idiots in front of the world. now, i never plan to publicly humiliate myself in front of millions of people, but the idea is the same.
i will say this, taking things painfully slow, spending months researching and planning seems to be working and finally paying off. i am finally gaining more confidence sharing my work and getting all of my little wordy ducks in a row. i am incredibly proud of myself, and all that i have accomplished, in the short time since i put my plan into action. i never listened to my mom too much because she wasnt much for sayings, but i’d like to think that if she said anything, she’d say “slow and steady wins the race.”
now, i still dont flatter myself to think that i will ever become a female David Sedaris like i always tell my son, but regardless, i am actually taking steps and accomplishing more than i expected thus far. and although i have been doin’ the whole “slow and steady” thing over a span of many, many years, i finally feel like i am gaining momentum, and have been writing my little heart out, now i am starting to get impatient. i found myself resenting my (paid) job today and all week, for that matter, because it was getting in the way of my writing. now, i’m not cool or conceited enough to believe that i dont need a paid job or income, in fact i have been lacking in the money department for a few months. winter is always a slow time for me; tis the nature of the beast, but years before, i always was proud of myself for powering through and getting myself back to good.
this year? there is little motivation to have my own business; my focus and attention are all on writing. and i know that my business is what gives me the luxury of having so much free time to write, but i feel that familiar creeping dread of “gotta go to work tomorrow” that i had with every other job. i always prided myself on being happy to go to work, and not wasting energy like the rest of the 9 to 5’ers on being miserable.
“means to an end,” they say, and i’m going to keep on keepin’ on, but it was just what was on my mind today as i finished updating the zine and then trooped out the door to “make the doughnuts,” so to speak. again, i don’t flatter myself that i am better than other hardworking people, least of all my boyfriend that works harder and more awful hours than most, but like i said, this was just the thoughts on the ol’ brain. i would guess that this feeling is as much motivation that i need to keep me on my path.
my brain is on fire and once again words are fighting to get out, but this time, i am prepared. i am ready! the writing switch has been flipped. no way i am going back now! it’s full steam ahead, captain! WRITING HO!