Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Insecure Writer's Support Group
Good morning! It's been a while since I posted to the IWSG. It's good to be back! If you don't know what the Insecure Writer's Support Group is, click HERE to go to their website or HERE to go to the site of its creator, Alex Cavanaugh. If you haven't already joined, you really, really should. It's a wonderful, fabulous community of writers who are ready, eager, and willing to encourage any and everyone! Seriously, these folks are great :)
I did a lot of thinking during my blog hiatus. Most prevalent were the thoughts: "Why do I blog?", "Why do I write?", and "What on earth am I doing here?" Now, aside from the last one, these aren't too painfully existential. They did, however, need to be confronted and considered.
"I blog because I enjoy it!" I argued. "I write because I enjoy it!"
"Blogging and writing connect me to a larger community, a greater plan than just sitting in my living room watching episodes of Dr. Who."
These answers are true, but they didn't help the disconnected feeling I felt every time I turned on my computer or stared at a blank sheet of paper. The thinking turned to brain fog and I walked away from blogging for a time.A new question emerged:
"If blogging and writing are so important to you, if they connect you and revitalize you as you say they do, WHY don't you do them?"
Ugh. Thus striketh the Muse. And he was aiming below the belt that day, and every day since. Up until I started this blog, re-signed up for the IWSG AND developed the premise for this post. It's not a pretty premise and, I'd wager, it's something many of you will find familiar.
Are you ready?
I don't blog and write and create as I should (as I know I'm perfectly capable of doing) because...
*pause to let that sink into my stubborn, thick skull*
This isn't a pleasant confession. I'm not at all proud to be letting this out of the basement. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this was truth and it was a truth that needed dealing with. Blogging is HARD WORK. Writing is HARD WORK. They are! Don't let anyone disillusion you into believing you're going to wake up every morning, a brilliant post at the forefront of your brain, glide to the keyboard (coffee in hand) and type out genius. It's not going to happen. And, strangely enough, that's exactly what I expected of myself.
Every post had to be perfect. Every word I put on the blank slate had to be exact. There was no room for error. The idea of editing wasn't foreign to me; I have a degree in writing, for crying out loud. I KNOW what it's like to edit, re-edit, edit some more and STILL have a professor tell you, "Eh, it could be better." But this is real life. This is my life, and there are no professors hovering over my shoulders to read everything I put down.
And THAT was extremely liberating.
The freedom of writing is saying what you need to say, what you want to say. The freedom of blogging is finding a group of like-minded people to whom you can say it. And the freedom of the art, the craft, the WORK is this: NO ONE IS THERE TO TELL YOU NO. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR WRITING AND YOU HAVE AS MUCH TIME AS YOU NEED IF YOU'RE WILLING TO TAKE IT.
I'm not writing for deadlines yet. I'm not writing for grades any more. I'm writing for myself, because I have stories that need to come out, characters that need answers. I write because it's the art form that chose me, not the other way around. (Seriously, who would choose writing over pottery or macrame?)
The point to this whole, rambling post is this: writing is WORK and if you aren't willing to put in the hours, you will not reap the rewards. Those rewards vary: a finished project; a self-published collection of essays; a poem for a loved one; a recipe. World wide fame is a nice dream, but it's not necessary to getting words on paper and words into the wild. There are so many opportunities out there for writers and artists of all kinds. They are there for the taking!
All we have to do is be willing to put in the hours and days and weeks of HARD WORK and then set our children free. They won't let us down if we are willing to do what it takes to get them there.
Happy Wednesday, all! As I mentioned yesterday, I'm working a weird schedule this week and next; if I'm late in responding to comments or visiting, that's why. I promise I'll make it 'round! It will just take some time. Besides, after this post, I know exactly what I'll be spending my down time doing: writing.