Even when you love writing, it’s work. Hard work, made harder by all the hopes, dreams and fears the author has lain down, turning blank pages into a work of art (or at least something someone finds entertaining). It seems like the closer I get to my writing goals, the more the pressure builds. The weight of the world gets heavier, the desire to succeed gets stronger, expanding inside me until my skin stretches, the only thing keeping it from bursting – the external forces squeezing against me as I struggle to turn the lump of coal into something shiny.
And then . . . I found my breaking point. The point where I had too much going on in life. Where something had to give. And if I’m perfectly honest, it was easiest to put my writing on the back burner because it would not only free up a substantial amount of time and energy, but also release me from those nasty little thoughts in the dark shadows of my mind, the ‘what ifs’. What if I’m not good enough? What if this is as close as I’ll ever get, no matter how hard I try? What if I’m wasting all my time and energy on a pipe dream that will never pan out? What if I’m 80 and wish I had used all that time and energy on other endeavors? You can’t really fail if you don’t try, right?
We all have the defeatist thoughts (I think), but I never planned to give in to them. I just
wanted needed a break. In those few moments a day that my crazy schedule allowed me to myself, I needed to relax, check out, listen to something stupid on TV while I rested my weary eyes instead of thinking about plot, story structure, and character development.
Then the blessed moment came when my schedule relaxed. Weeks of it passed. The weeks turned to months. And yet, I still hadn’t started writing again. The first step (and who knows that – which direction to go, which foot to lead with) was paralyzing. I couldn’t take it. I was overthinking it. I love to write. It’s a gift that I give myself. So why am I punishing myself, withholding the dessert of my day? Fear. Laziness. The knowledge of how much blood, sweat and tears it’ll take to re-pave the road to my goals. How much harder it will be than eating cookies on the couch while watching Joe Kenda do the hard work on TV. But today is the day. It’s time to get back to work. And I don’t know what the hell this thing is, but I like it! Carpe the weird stuff, it’s time to write!