As I sit here looking at the white ‘paper’ of my screen, I can think of nothing to say. I titled this Blog ‘A Writer’s Life’ but now the eternal question of whether I can be a writer pops back into my head. I’ve stopped writing. What happened to all the commitment and desire of just a month ago? How did I slide so far back into my previous wanting-to-be-a-writer-but-not-writing life?
I feel trapped in the circle of my life, trapped in the good days and bad days I know so well. If I could just step one inch to the side I would be in a totally different place. My life would expand into the thing I long for and yet seldom find except in broken moments here and there. So how come, I know what I need to do to take the tiny step, but I don’t step.
All my life I’ve known I was a writer. Telling the stories of the characters in my head, or rather telling the stories they tell me, has been all I’ve ever known. Worlds continue to expand inside me, fears and strengths and failures and successes, but they are not mine. Without finding out what it is holding me back, I can’t let those worlds go.
I know, of course, what it is.
I’m terrified of opening up; of reaching my longed-for life because people don’t understand me now, so how will they understand me when my life explodes the impossible into the possible? What if the ambiguous ‘they’ out ‘there’ don’t like what I write? What if they laugh? What if, after all the starts and stops, all the failures and successes, they tell me that I’m not who I’ve always known I was. Somewhere, back in my past, somebody told me I couldn’t trust myself or my own thoughts. I had to trust their thoughts, their beliefs, their decisions about who I was and who I was meant to be even if it wasn’t truly me.
‘Responsibility’ tugs me. Kids who don’t know how to fly expect me to continue to take care of their lives when they are 18 and 21. Family which expects me to be the same person forever. Work which expects me to follow the rules even if they are wrong. The difference now is nobody owns me or runs me or tells me what to do or who to be. I’ve stopped listening. I can’t listen. If I don’t make a break now, will I ever?
I need to sleep more and exercise more – healthy body, sound mind. I need to put pen to paper ever day even if all I write is “I don’t know what to write.” A tiny step every day. Just a tiny one. Nothing much. Carrots instead of chocolate (not all the time, of course). Exercise instead of being a bed potato. Accomplishing instead of doing nothing. Every inch counts.