Authenticity / Fear / Satisfaction / Writing

I Write, Therefore I Am

Even my story/vision board from 2 years ago was telling me!

Even my story/vision board from 2 years ago was telling me!

On a daily basis, I neglect to do the one thing I wish to do: write. I’m not talking about my usual writing–blog essays, grant proposal narratives, technical writing–I’m talking about REAL writing–creative writing. The very thing that stirs my soul is the very thing I give the LEAST amount of time to during my busy day. It frustrates me to no end and makes me wonder why.

I’ve accumulated scores and scores of mini-narratives scribbled by candlelight, moonlight, and early morning light. Over three-quarters of my roughly 100 post-it notes stuck and taped to every surface around my desk are ideas for special writing projects. As I played the California State Lottery last night, I speculated that, should I win the lottery, I’d spend the rest of my days writing . . . errrrr, and pursuing music (playing, singing, writing) . . . ummmm, and also advancing in my jewelry making . . . errrr-ummmm, and having a real go in a woodworking shop building what lives in my imagination . . . oh, and working in some capacity (satisfying a need for structure and focused productivity), even if only to figure out a way to make any of these core interests a source of funds to help out a worthy cause.

So you see, the only thing that gets in the way of my creative writing and me is me! Honestly, all of these pursuits nag at me for attention, but avoiding writing and music particularly pluck on the guilt strings of my heart. Avoid? Yes, in a way, I suspect I avoid these two. Why? Well, I suspect for one that I’m a tad bit afraid to find out how good or bad I am at each. Paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln, “better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” My biggest concern is the amount of time writing and music promise to command from me. I suspect I will be absorbed by them. I fear the obsession that comes with that territory when I try in a multitude of inferior ways to express emotions I cannot tame nor name. I experience that here on this blog where slews of topics taunt me until written. Of my vine-like post-it note infestation, a great number of them are ideas on blog topics that have woken me in the night, or forced me to scribble on torn pieces of paper on my steering wheel while driving and trying to keep my eyes on the road.

The obsession scares me enough to avoid that which teases me, and yet I also suspect if I continue to avoid, I will not be me. I know I am supposed to write and I know I am supposed to play music. I suppose I’ve known it all my life. I know that if I write and play music, I shall finally BE.


What is it you know you are supposed to be doing? Are you doing it?

If not, why?

If yes, do you have any advice to share about obsession as expressed in career, exercise, or hobbies? Does it keep you away from your loved ones?

12 thoughts on “I Write, Therefore I Am

  1. Good grief, Sue! I can SO RELATE to this post. I do this as well. Why do we do this?? What are we waiting for? I have a novel started and stopped for several years now. I mean, I’m like 120 pages in and I say to myself EVERY DAY: Just finish it. Just finish. Anyway, I’m sending you some good mojo and juju and good thoughts that those post-it notes link themselves together and become the masterpiece you have in you. Be sure and have your guitar nearby so you can strum it every once in a while, while you’re writing!

    • Ha ha! I suppose that’s why I entertain the idea of songwriting (I actually signed up for an online course, soon to start!) so I can combine two obsessions into one and kill two birds (or “boids” as my grandfather used to say–a New Yorker through and through!). I’m also in the midst of two other online courses, writing related. I keep trying ways to light my arse on fire so I’ll get off the coals and get going with the lead (pencil, that is). Whatever it takes. I literally have 5 solid stories/books in mind to write. Think that’s been part of the problem. I’m churning over 5 different storylines in my sleep, waiting for one of them to take charge. Passive thinking, I know. Just this week (because of the online course) I have finally picked one to be a priority, so let’s see what happens!

  2. So you avoid that which might give you the most pleasure, the greatest joy? I get this one right down into my soul. It is nearly as if sometimes I think, I don’t deserve that happy today, I am never certain why; are you?

    Perhaps if you find the answer to that question, you will give yourself permission to cut an hour out of your day to write.

    • Fear of failure? Fear of success?

      Maybe it’s as simple as having to give up something to get something and vacillating over what that might be–the hour of exercise, the hour of job searching, the hour of getting paperwork in order, the hour of . . . ?

      Maybe the very practical, no-nonsense part of my “self” deems it frivolous? My practical and fun side are always in conflict in the area of creativity.

      No, I am never certain exactly what it is, other than it is. Yesterday, though, I did tackle the first page of “the big story” I wish to tell. It’s a start. πŸ˜‰

  3. The thing that struck me when reading this was the picture in my mind (which is similar to me, by the way) of pages and pages of WRITTEN (as opposed to computer-generated) drafts on bits of paper everywhere, a reflection of all these ideas that come at all hours of the day. Meaning that we can snatch these minutes to jot things down as they pour from our minds, and yet we never have the time to piece all this creative genius together!!

    Good luck with finding yours. Mine feels light years away πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ Jotting down ideas is the easy stuff… pulling it all together into creative genius is the real challenge. I get real excited when I spit out words for a lengthy narrative like I was spitting out seeds from a satisfying slice of watermelon… magic, effortless moments that are rare. Even those get lost in the shuffle. Once I woke up with a whole entire book idea that took two handwritten legal-sized pages, front and back to scribble down… one of my larger “ideas.” It’s mixed in there somewhere with all the post it notes and narratives. Ugggggh!

  4. O’ Sweet Sue; may you never get short of both time & inspiration…
    By the way trust me when it’s about writing, it’s never “a-supposed-to-be-done-thing”..

    Peace & Light

    • Thank you, Mira Jay, for the good wishes. On reflection, “supposed to be doing” sounds like a chore. It definitely is not. It’s an obsession calling me–a desire to get to it, keep at it, get better at doing it. There’s so much to learn, so much awareness of where I am and where I want to be. It’s refreshing to me to be so far into my life and to be so excited and intrigued about learning. There aren’t enough hours in the day or a lifetime. I think that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Negative Creativity vs. Positive Creativity: Choose Wisely | Swimming in the Mud

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