On Writing

So, is it time for a serious post? No? Alrighty then.

No, really, all seriousness kidding aside, I’m thinking perhaps this blog is actually read by one or two people, so perhaps I should write another essay of some sort. Oh, the pressure!

See, while I consider myself a *writer*, the problem is, when it comes time to actually write, I tend to find any and all excuses not to. It seems to be a bit of an identity crisis for me. I’ve had ideas I’ve carried around with me for years, if not decades, but I’ve produced little to show for it. Not really sure what the problem is. Am I just mentally lazy, or am I perhaps trying to run down a road that’s not actually right for me?

Probably a little of both. Because when it comes to emails, or personal blog posts, I can write volumes (and I could give you at least a dozen references of people who would confirm this, no doubt with a hefty dose of eye-rolling). But if it smacks at all of something a little more important than that, I freeze before I’ve even started.

It’s a bit like drawing, for me. I’ve been a visual artist since about the age of three; as a child/teenager I had work displayed in some art show every year, I’ve won awards and accolades, and even had a drawing displayed in the lobby of my old middle school for about fifteen years. I have many, many fond memories of the things I created. But as an adult, I haven’t actually drawn anything of significance for at least 25 years. Oh, I took an art class here and there, and I’ve done a bit of set painting, props creation, things like that (and a good amount of graphic design on the computer in the course of my theatre work), but as far as something personal, something to display, something to show for the sake of art, I haven’t done anything. Not because I don’t have the materials. I’ve got a whole bucket of art supplies, and canvases, papers, etc. But when I sit down to draw something, I look inside my mind for inspiration and find a big empty room. So I set my pencil to paper and see what comes out. It’s usually a face. But then what? I find nothing to express. I try to look behind the face but only see paper. And so, after about ten minutes, I give up in frustration. (Yes, I said ten minutes. I seem to be afraid of wasting more time than that on what seems to be a fruitless enterprise. Ah, the joys of adult ADD.)

It’s the same with writing. I start with a mental snippet of what I want to write … maybe hear some of the sounds it creates, see a rich little video excerpt of it … but when I sit down to document it, all that exists is an empty, drafty room, wind whistling through it and lots of random banging sounds distracting me from the words I think I wish to write. I start a sentence, maybe two, until I hit that inevitable point where I need a word that refuses to come to mind. So I stop. I can’t move past it. The video is gone, the sounds of banging even louder. So in an attempt to recall the elusive word, I read and re-read the first couple of sentences, declare it absolute rubbish, and quit.

Yet I can write a blog post. Granted, it’s about *me*, a subject I know quite a bit about, although a subject other people really don’t have as much enthusiasm for as I do.

Do I give up my dreams of writing something? Photography is something I also love to do, but the difference is, I actually do that. Yes, it’s hard too, but I have a whole lot more to show for it than I do of my writing. Maybe writing is just a pipe dream, but not that thing that I am put on this earth to do.

Yet I can’t give up the dream. So I continue, promising that I’m starting to write, and breaking that promise before I’ve even begun. But I don’t think I can give up that hope that some day, I’ll actually plug through to the end.

Think that’ll ever happen?


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