“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery and I promise you, something great will come of it”
- Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo
Why is it so darn difficult? It doesn’t have to be, I know this. The weight of it sits on my shoulders as if I am carrying this huge 500 pound burden. I have this fear - I have several really - but , I have this fear of being obligated to continue something that I start. At this stage of my life, I resist feeling like I have to do something. I make myself crazy over it really. But, I have struggled with writing for quite some time. About 20 years to be exact. I feel called to do it, I don’t know why. I think about writing all. the. time. In fact, probably everyday. Some days are worse than others, it feels more like a haunting.
I have gone to seminars about writing. I have attended workshops. I have talked to writers and editors, even writing coaches. I have read books about writing. I have taken online courses. Oh my gosh, the amount of books I have purchased! I have so many books about writing. Only to have ‘Suggestion Ads’ pop up all the time just to torture me a little further. I have introduced myself to authors who have all encouraged me to just jump in and write. I have not jumped in. I just dip my toes in, swirl around a bit and then, abort mission. I hear many wise words about writing. Things like, write shitty first drafts. Schedule writing time. Find a place that you write everyday. Write without editing. Just start writing. Don’t reread, just write. Follow prompts. Don’t follow prompts. Just write. Brain dump. Write like your ass is on fire. Write first thing in the morning. Write last thing before bed. The list goes on.
But the voices, oh my god the committee in my head, do they ever have a lot to say. Most of them are skeptics, you know, the Karen's. “What do you have to say that hasn’t been said before?” “Nothing extraordinary has happened in our life that is worth writing about.” “You are not disciplined enough.” “You are too much of a perfectionist.” “You will want to edit and never get past the first paragraph.” “You have such a hard time organizing your thoughts.” “You can hardly finish reading a book.” ” Who would read it?” “ It takes you so long to finish something you start?” “ Where would you start?” “You definitely don’t want to start a blog, then you have to write all the time and what a tortured existence that would be.” But then there is that one tiny, courageous voice that pipes up and says, “give it a chance, besides you are kinda funny, even if you are the only one who thinks so.”
If you have found your way to reading these words that I write, Thank you for sticking around. I feel I must warn you, I write the way that I think and that is very much like a ping pong ball in a wind storm. (thanks to my husband for that analogy, admittedly accurate.) I will most certainly write in an unconventional manner, with run on sentences and I probably will curse a- fucking- lot. ( you see what I did there?) I believe in beginning a sentences with the word “And” or “But”. To me, it is a follow up or supportive thought and I know I’ve paused long enough to make it a sentences on its own. Don’t judge me for it. Or do, I don’t mind. I imagine that the more I write the better I will be at it. (hmm, go figure)
Well friends, here it is. I am just going to write this shitty first draft. Maybe it won’t be that shitty. I can’t promise that my writings will be politically correct or even thoroughly thought out because that will only slow me down. Something I say may offend some and if that is the case, you don’t have to stick around. But, I do hope you do. Can we be ok with talking about the hard things, asking ourselves the hard questions and be brave enough to answer honestly? I don’t know any other way really. I love the saying and I paraphrase, “you can’t go around it, you’ve got to go through it." I don’t believe any of us quite have it all figured out. And if you do, please tell me how. It may just save me from having to go through a lot of unnecessary emotional turmoil. I also recognize that I may feel certain way about a topic one day and totally unsure the next. I am open to being wrong. I am open to just about anything. I am human and since we are close to subject, I am also female. (she, her, Miss, Mrs, just please not Ma’am) I also don't fully understand why those pronouns are used so often in today's world. I can, and do, promise that anything I write will be the truth. My truth, but the truth nonetheless. I am even giving myself permission to write and post only when I feel called to do so, the rest will work itself out. Enjoy this shitty first draft. And mostly, I am glad you are here.