I only have me to blame.

Writing can be a soul sucking job. I’ve had people tell me “why don’t you quit” and the thing is, you don’t just stop writing. If you don’t write, you shrivel up and pretty much fall apart. It’s what drives us, what challenges us, what gives our lives more purpose. The simple of act of using our fingers, or a pen, and putting words on paper, is one of the greatest things a writer can do.

Yet, there are times we shrivel up and don’t write. We don’t share. We are… frozen. I was working on another piece at my full-time site, A Daily Pinch, and considering my life and the anxiety I have. Yes, I get terribly anxious over the act of writing, as I often at times feel as if I have duct tape on my mouth. As I was thinking this and DM’ing with two fellow writers, I’ll call them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (they’ll appreciate the reference), one commented, before the other had a chance, they chimed in to let me know I didn’t have duct tape on my fingers.

It’s so profound. Yet so… disheartening. I don’t have anything to blame. Not my social anxiety. Not my introvertedness. Not my fear of failure. PMS isn’t allowed, nor is a desperate need for Fro-Yo, RIGHT NOW.

There are times I wish I still smoked. Or drank. (I have one bourbon, once a month. That does not a drinker make.) At least I’d have something to do while pondering everything. Don’t tell me to increase my coffee, because if were to increase consumption I’ll levitate — and unless I can fly whilst levitating, I’m not going to be a happy gal.

I only have me to blame. Me. Me. Me.

No one has put braces on my brain. No one has taped my hands. No one is stopping me.

Except me.


Writing — The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Everyday I wake up wanting to get the words out of my head on to paper for the world to read. That’s what writer’s do. Unfortunately, fear blocks my fingertips often, which can be paralytic.

As someone who makes her living weaving words into a black and white basket made entirely of type, I often feel as if I’m pushed to explain more of myself. When people ask “what do you do” and I respond with “writer,” they really like my response. However, when I mention I’ve mainly written online since 2002, their faces really say all you need to know: “Oh, so you’re not a real writer, are you?”

At that point, I’d love nothing more than to tell them to bite me, but on the off chance one day I do publish successfully, i’d rather them not be the same folks trolling me online. There are enough of those already.

While I’ve always been a writer, I’ve wondered if my blogging has interfered with my talents. There’s been so much short-form writing, my long-form has taken a back seat and I often find myself struggling to expand the length of what I am working on. It’s a real challenge.

To help, I’m reading more than I have in the past few years and not blogging like I used to — at most 2-3 times per week. The rest of the time is spent in research, sorting note cards and mapping out my travel schedule for book interviews, as the piece I’m currently working on is nonfiction.

I guess you could say writing is like “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” We have good ideas and copy, some bad, and there’s always ugly editing, which altogether makes a great product. It’s pretty much a recurrent theme in how we feel about what we’re doing and why we do it, well that and the drive to empty our heads of the words continually seeking a way out.

Lord Byron said it best “If I do not write to empty my mind, I will go mad.” He spoke for every writer, who’s ever written anything. We write, no matter what it is. Even if we do things which interfere with out writing, or change our voice, we are still writers. Nothing is ever perfect, but there is the dream of the perfect sentence — and we will keep writing while trying to create it.