About once a year, I take stock of my writing and tell myself that I should get serious about it, or relegate it to hobby status. Do I actually want to be published? Or do I want to scribble in notebooks and never share them? Both are very viable options, and I am tempted by both on a regular basis.
However, every year I decide to get serious and create a writing schedule and actually do the thing. But do I? Ha! Nope. I might write for a month, and then life or something else gets in the way and I stop writing consistently. Usually I blame life, or stress. Usually, it is the something else. And that something else is fear.
I am terrified of writing. To put pencil to paper is to push through a fog of fears and insecurities. And often I don’t want to push through, so I don’t. I put my stories in a corner and go on with life as if I never had a story idea in the first place. Until love of story draws me back to them again, like moth to a flame. Except I am also afraid of the flame. Afraid that it isn’t as beautiful as I think it is.
What if the flame of story is just a mirage? What if I can’t write? What if I have been kidding myself for years? There are so many writers, what do my words mean in the world? What if I will never be good enough?
Those ‘what ifs’ stop all forward motion and pull me back to earth. They are the gravity I have been fighting against for my whole life. Sometimes I win and float up into the clouds, but gravity is always there, ready to pull me back down at a moments notice.
I don’t like being afraid. I am not a fan of having my life girded and bound my terror. But I can’t seem to escape this one. Creaky houses can be explored, the dark can be lightened, and scary dreams can be awoken from. This fear won’t go away.
So I got Wattpad. The obvious solution. (right) For those of you who may not know, Wattpad is a website where writers can write whatever they want, and not worry about the messiness of publishing. It’s kind of like a mutual blog where everyone is writing and reading and commenting. I am getting Wattpad for the sole purpose of making myself write. I want to be an author? Fine, then I need to write for other people. My stories need to see the light of day. And if I hate it, then I know writing isn’t for me, and I can have a cute lil’ hobby. If I happen to like it, I can pursue the next step and keep writing for others.
Either way, my goal is to banish the fear. Not become famous, or write the next Great American Novel. But to banish the fear that has haunted me since I first realized the great divide between my writing and my favorite authors writing.
I won’t get better unless I write. I won’t get published unless I write. I won’t be brave unless I write.
So I am going to write. (wish me luck)