I know that my posts on my blog are off and on. Usually how much I post or don’t post is a reflection of busyness, yes, but also of guilt and fear. If I am feeling guilty that I haven’t written in a story in awhile, whether a short story, book, or even pursued writing in some fashion, then I tend to stay away from my blog, just as I stay away from writing more and more. Fear begins to overtake me that once I start writing again it won’t be anything worth reading. And then guilt assails me for not doing what I love – for being too fearful to do so. And it is a dreadful circle that goes round and round.
Would you like to know what makes it ten times worse? I went to a college with a bunch of smart people – people so smart, that I looked dumb next to them despite my all ‘A’s in my previous college and high school. On top of that, I went to college with a bunch of people who, like me, love to read and write. LOVE it. And now, suddenly, a multitude of them are posting on Facebook talking about the books that they just finished writing. One is publishing it himself, one is publishing chapters online, one has an agent, one just finished and is looking for an agent, and I see all these posts and I feel anger. I feel defensive. My heart swells up and my mind cries out “NO! That isn’t fair! You can’t be bragging about finishing a book – you don’t have that right! I have wanted to be an author since I was 7 – so don’t tell me you have the right to be claiming to be a writer before I have finished a book!!” And I turn away and pout and stay away from my own book, beset by my fear and guilt, making no more progress than before, and instead coming home from a long day at work, making dinner, and then sitting in front of the TV, too scared to actually pursue my dreams – because what if they fail?
But if I am being honest with myself, and I have been recently, as I look at those posts and cry out “That’s not fair! You don’t have that right!” I realize, yes, it is fair, and yes, whether they have wanted to write for 20 years like me, or only 1 year, they have that right because, UNLIKE me, they got up off the couch, turned off the TV, and wrote their book.
I am tired of being ruled by fear. I am tired of not pursuing my dreams. I am tired of being too afraid to call myself a writer.