Today I visited campus to help with orientation. An acquaintance came up to me and asked me if I still write.
I said no.
He offered up a suggestion and then we were both on our way.
My “no” was a simple answer, but it doesn’t live up to the agony and self-loathing that has occurred for the past few weeks.
He doesn’t know that for the past few weeks, I have 17 blog drafts that have a few feeble sentences on each one. Born from a burst of light in my mind, but not strong enough and quickly dead on my florescent computer screen.
He doesn’t know that I have been trying to push ideas through my cranium, jamming my fingers against the cold unforgiving keyboard, begging my mind:
“PLEASE. PLEASE LET ME WRITE SOMETHING.”
And deep down inside, I question, “Is this the end? Will this be another project where I was too lazy, too uninspired, too unnoticed, too little reward… Will this end up in the depths of my computer’s recycling bin where I will try to forget it and not remember that this is another one of my many projects that started out great and ended in a complete catastrophe.
He doesn’t know that every time I write something, I question if someone will actually read it. Or perhaps they’ll press that little “like” star button without reading it, just because some other asshole also wants me to visit his blog. To actually READ his blog, because god forbid that it was too hard for him to read mine but he made an effort and pressed a little star to try and make me go visit his.
He doesn’t know that as a writer you’re EXPECTED to spill your guts, but if someone was to lay me down and dissect my stomach, they would only find spicy cheeto’s and sour gummy worms.
And in that one moment, in that one flick of an eye, I reach out for an idea and it’s gone. It’s gone. Or when I grasp that idea but then try to push it through my fingers onto the keyboard… My mind gets in the way and my fingers fumble and they don’t know what to do or what to say or how to feel or what the point even is. (And yes. Ending in a preposition is bad, but I don’t see the grammar police crashing through me ceiling.)
Why oh why does everthing that a writer loves, dies?
Shakespeare, for example. He kills everything. Why does he kill the people that he nurtured and loved and gave life to, only to take it away with the quickness of a pen scratch?
And perhaps I can’t think of any ideas because sometimes it feels like I’m writing not for myself, but for the views. Yes we all know that feeling. That little jump in our heart when we see that random person from Australia has viewed our post and we think, “Oh yay. Our miniscule part that we hope to leave on the world has actually been read from across the Atlantic.”
This evening I thought about my answer. “No.” It pounded against my head. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
No– I don’t care about oxford commas or even commas in general. No– I’ve stopped trying to get people to understand the messed up shit that comes from my mind. No– I’m sick of trying to write for other people or for potential employers. No– I haven’t been writing for myself.
Yes. I will say it now. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.