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.