“Some will win, some will lose/Some were born to sing the blues/Oh, the movie never ends/
It goes on and on, and on, and on’/Don’t stop believin’/Hold on to the feelin’…” ~Journey
Skip week – No publish, I wrote on the blank index card in the space for last Tuesday. I felt like I had failed myself so fully that I couldn’t help adding an emoticon sad face with my black ink pen. An action which further solidified the fears that this impromptu break brought on by the busyness and demands of life, adulthood, parenthood would very quickly suffer the snowball effect, rolling swiftly into an extreme halt in my existence as a blogger. Fears that this was proof that I’m not cut to be a writer, and certainly not truly one if I allowed a week to stand in my way and keep me from what I have been doing since last June.
For as much as self-promoting this blog every Tuesday has turned into a chore, it felt weird and wrong that last Tuesday was the first one in many long months that I wasn’t spending parts of the day doing exactly that. A tweet around noon. A Facebook status on my personal page that same hour. As many as 10 statuses pre-scheduled on the blog’s Facebook page starting at 5 a.m. and tapering off around 6 p.m. Off and on my mobile and laptop throughout the length of a work shift while caring for my daughter, the house, myself. It gets stupid-crazy on Tuesdays. And it annoys me. And I missed it.
I knew the world wasn’t going to stop just because I couldn’t manage my time better seven to 10 days ago. But I felt like my world was spinning too quickly off of its axis.
Because of how terrible failure makes me feel, I have always harbored a fear of it. This truth about me used to keep me from trying so many new things, some of which I should have at least attempted simply due to how much I wanted to. Yay for me that after growing up a bit more, I found my own way to get passed this. The downside now though is, that when I feel like I have failed, the impact of the sensation is ten times sharper.
Oddly this also serves me well, as both the fear of failure and the actual occurrence motivate me to get back up.
Also, my friends have a different perspective about me than I do. Thankfully.
“‘It’s okay to miss every once in a while. At least you still did a little promotion on Monday!” The rejuvenating optimism of friend and fellow blogger, Big Joe Johnson (www.bigjoessoapbox.com) who was referring to a bloggers’ community that we both participate in on Twitter on Mondays called, yes, mondayblogs. Even though the sad side of my brain was still whining, I didn’t write this weeeeek!! (Think alà Lucille Ball), the rational side nodded in agreement at this very forgiving statement.
Likewise, my brother-from-another-mother, Dave had a similar stop-beating-yourself comment.
Deep down though, I knew inherently that when the pout-fest ended, and I started feeling ok about not publishing for an entire week (because eventually you can get comfortable with anything, no matter how disappointed you are with yourself), that I am a writer. Writing is a part of who I am. Without it I am not a whole person.
I have always identified myself as a writer. Even during those long years that I wasn’t actually writing, just going around telling anyone who would listen that I was an “aspiring writer.” After the battle it took to get to this point in my life where I feel validated in labeling myself a writer, neither me nor it was going to just shrug and walk off.
After deciding that this week I was going to write about how terrible it was to not write last week, I came across a column in PARADE in the April 20, 2014 edition called “Sunday With…” which felt so fate-filled and appropriate. Author Anna Quindlen, the interviewee, was asked about a small assortment of things, including how she deals with writer’s block.
“‘Some days I fear writing dreadfully, but I do it anyway. I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.'”
Not writing at all leads to nothing. Yes. A big, hollow, empty nothing.
Which I guess, in its own awful way is actually something, just not the something a writer wants.
This made me wonder though if it was merely just poor time management that got me last week. Or if it was my fear of failure. Or if it was writer’s block. If it was all three. Or all three plus other stuff I haven’t even identified.
In any case, Quindlen is reminding all writers, including herself, that it is an art and we have to keep practicing, even when we think that we are sucking majorly. And not just at writing, but at life, too. (Because I have tons of days that leave me feeling like I suck at life.) It’s a reminder that for all the time, work, energy and other aspects that it takes, don’t stop believin’. Really though, I can’t even if I wanted to.
The primary fundamental reason why is that I don’t feel like a complete person when I haven’t been writing. This, in turn, is why writers write. Even when they arn’t getting paid. Even when they don’t garner much attention. Like me. Because the sensation that the act of writing brings is comparable to a higher form of breathing. It serves as an additional filter for life, sifting out yin and yang, helping the head and the heart to make sense of it all.
I suppose as long as I have a need or desire for comprehension, and as long as writing completes me as a person, I’ll use one to fuel the other and continue to be a writer that writes, if for nothing else, but to feel whole. Never thought I’d say this, but I’m grateful for all that I don’t automatically understand.