11:38 pm, Monday evening. In a state of deep unrest. “Where are you going?” his voice cuts through the silence.
“I need to write.” I navigate my way through the darkness, searching for my notebook, pen, and pillow.
It’s not often that inspiration pulls me out of bed but thoughts are a jumbled mess and I need to get them down on paper before I lose the momentum forever.
One of my biggest fears (irrational as it may be) is that one day my words will no longer matter and that my writing will be a faint memory of a life I don’t even recognize. I spend my waking hours trying to think of ways to remain relevant and what I can do (that I haven’t done before) to leave a lasting imprint. Without a published novel or even a byline, who could ever guess that my life was deeply unsettled by something as harmless as stringing words together?
I used to take great joy and pride in my writing, the art of story-telling, the field of social media in general. I haven’t been moved to write in some time and that scares me. In the back of my head I try to shake my biggest fear of all.
What if the words don’t come back?
I know that in some small way this has to do with recent events in my life and a clash of opinions with someone who pens my paycheck. He doesn’t understand my writing and though I’ve tried several different ways to change styles to suit his needs, my inauthentic words fall flat. I struggle. I constantly question why I chose such a thankless profession and what else I could be doing with my life.
I make lists.
Things I excel in:
- Taking care of dogs
- Being a good friend and listener; having sturdy shoulders to cry on
- Cooking (sometimes)/baking (occasionally)
- Coming up with million dollar ideas (but not knowing what to do with them)
- Living in the present (with lessons from my past)
Things I could be doing with my life:
- B&B owner in a sleepy beach town
- Doggie daycare owner
- Advice columnist (modern-day Dear Abby)
- Professional wing-woman
- Vegetarian spokesperson / shelter advocate
Though I would love to do any one of these things, nothing gives me the same sense of purpose that writing does, even in the midst of a downward spiral. Is this self-inflicted Schadenfreude? Or a sign that without pain, there is no great reward?
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
What are some of your biggest fears?