I Am Just A Writer
I am just a writer.
My elementary school teachers always commented on my natural knack for writing. I was the token essay editor in my apartment in college. I laced bits of lyrics together in my schoolgirl notebooks. I imagined miles of dialogue for characters who had yet to see the light of page.
But I have a confession to make: if you ask to see my writing, I’ll show you my “best material” that was written almost a year ago. And please don’t ask to see my recent material or you will be severely disappointed, because there isn’t any recent material good enough to present, because my recent material doesn’t exist.
I keep buying fancy journals to fill with my words, but as soon as I get them home they stay on my bookshelf or my desk or my kitchen counter, just as blank as the day I bought them. Since we’re being honest, I have never written through an entire journal before. I’ve never even cleared the first hundred pages.
I was given a 30-day writing challenge with prompts already provided, and I never even got around to starting the first day. Something always came up or I wasn’t feeling inspired or I’d had a long day or I was trying to “balance out my life” and needed to take some time for myself.
Excuse after excuse after sorry excuse.
So I came at it from another angle and started carrying around a small notebook with me wherever I went, only to fill it with concepts that could never quite seem to make the cut. They were either too obvious, or too complex, or one of a million other reasons I made up as to why I shouldn’t be writing.
“You buy these journals and have all of these ideas floating around in your head, but you haven’t written anything in months. Why is that?”
After my original defenses wore off and I started peeling back a few of my oh-so-famous layers, I saw what I’d been afraid to admit to myself until now:
I haven’t been writing because I’m afraid of the emotion that will be glaring back at me when I let the ink soak the page.