Publish

Mental Health, Random poetry Add comments

Howdy-do!

 

Are you a writer?

Have you got anything hiding in a drawer that has not seen this side of the millennium, because you are ashamed of it/have convinced yourself it is never going to be worthy of others’ scrutiny?

If you used to write and have now stopped – why is that?  Can you unpick your feelings a bit for me?

Are you going to cite time restraints, crazy work schedules, family commitments, your age, your responsibilities, others’ opinions, your lack of talent…?

In my experience (and you already know this before I point it out) it is all bound up with fear.  That feeling of teetering on the edge of the abyss. 

It’s a huge thrill to think about how successful I would like to be, how I would love to be as rich as J K Rowling or as quoted as Stephen King.  How I will relish seeing my pen name as my recognised brand, and have thousands – no! – millions of followers on social media hanging on every word I write…

Then I remember that I am actually quite fond of anonymity. 

I can hide from the world any time I like.  I don’t have to meet everyone’s expectations, even people I’ve never met before.  I don’t have to acknowledge that scores of readers demand that I think of them when I (or my subconscious) ‘let’ things happen to my characters. 

No-one else is invested yet.  This is a good thing.  This is safe.

But, guess what?  I have a few regular readers already.  I took the plunge at the end of December.  I stood up for myself and said:

 “Nah, this is important enough.  You’ve always been scribbling things down – and pontificating for most of your life on street corners and down telephones, making yourself and your fellow bletherers late for whatever they were supposed to be doing.  It’s part of you, this storytelling and gathering.  You have many years of yarn all jumbled inside of you!  Why do people gravitate towards you if you are meant to be hidden away?!  They must like something you do, or they’d avoid you.  You are not getting any younger!! Do it!!”

If you are a writer that isn’t writing, how are you feeling just now?  Is there a gnawing feeling inside of you that you are not fulfilled in some way?  Can you cram things into your days just fine, but still feel there is something missing? 

Are you bridging that gap with other creative things, things that people can look at and instantly tell you it is clever or good?  How’s that working for you?

Writing is a lonely thing.  It is a subjective art that seems to have so many niches.  I’ll worry one day that the way I want to explain something is too…ornate?…for many to comprehend or bother with; then the next day I read some truly amazing work on the internet, and feel that the style that I wrote my last piece in was far too crude!  The things I beat myself up with!

I get angry when I don’t write. 

I get angry when I do write, but at least I feel I am doing something with it 😉

If you are not writing, but should be, where are your emotions being released?  Are you carrying around all this power that should be bursting from the page? Is it not tearing at the seams of your soul?!

From Randomwordgenerator

I was told by quite a few professional people (and many friends and relatives) in 2015 that I needed to be writing.  A psychiatrist told me that I must keep the dark parts of my musings, in order for the light to exist. 

I was not unwell, I was just not writing!! 

I do not totally believe that this was (or is) the whole story, but I do agree that muting the outlet I have always come back to is silly.

(Does this resonate with any non-practicing writers out there?!)

So, upon seeing ‘publish’ as my first generated word, I wrote a poem around the tussle with myself to get a blog post out every day.  It took all of my 15 minutes, and I did not get to do any tweaking. 

It is what it is…

 

 

 

 

Publish  Approach  Illness  Familiar  Fist  Crowd  Battlefield  Finish  Month

 

So I hit that ‘publish’ button,

And every nano second of my finger’s approach

Was being held back by my doubt.

But I did it.

 

Keep showing up at blank pages,

Banging keyboards in rages,

Through all life’s assuages –

To spew ink-scrawl in waves,

Hoping this my way paves,

To awake from dark graves

All impassioned raves;

That fell silent in twenties

(And rusted up, plenty)

But still wittered on

In my soul’s inner song…

 

And then, although illness

Kept striking our house;

The school run taking over,

The familiar pull of TV shows unwatched

Or books unread;

(Or just the lovely ecstasy

Of an early bed…)

 

I clenched my fist around my pen,

Addressed the assembled crowd.

Asked characters to step forward,

Take their places; please.

 

Sometimes, they were fresh from the battlefield,

Had not had time to finish dressing –

A wound, or themselves –

But still they performed:

Month after month, after…

 

Scribbles in my notebook, in a spring-like shade of green…

Once I start wondering about my writing process, and decide that I am on a ‘derailing mission’; I start to ask myself disheartening questions. 

I made a commitment to use a random word generator and just 15 minutes, to discourage my endless redrafting of my efforts – and to prove to myself I have an innate ability to produce decent work under pressure (a fact I suspected from my university essay days).  My internal critic would have me believe I have only put those restrictions on myself so I can hide behind them, and point to them when my work is rubbish. 

You lack commitment to your art, don’t you? 

You know you don’t measure up, so have checked out before you’ve even begun…that’s the truth, isn’t it?

When you get your longer pieces out there, people are going to realise you really don’t have any talent…!

But I am trying not to listen, because I know that I work hard at promoting my work, and thinking of what will be interesting for other people to read, as well as what I need to share with the world today for my own peace of mind.  I know I have a whole back catalogue of poetry and stories chilling in boxes and files that I can refresh and reframe. 

I am remembering, instead, to take heed of the calm little voice that doesn’t hiss, but just states the truth in an assertive way – waiting to be heard…

Feel free to weigh in on my “I’m less if I’m not writing” postulation, in the comments.  I’m eager to read your thoughts on the matter 🙂

 

 

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4 Responses to “Publish”

  1. Jennifer Patino Says:

    I completely understand. 🙂 I lose it if I find myself blocked in writing. It’s often what I’d rather be doing.:)

  2. Montaffera Says:

    @ Jennifer: I think I’d rather be writing when I do housework and other boring things, then suddenly want to clean when I get to write 😂 never comfy…

  3. J. R. Nichols Says:

    I was going to protest – “less than” if I am not writing… because intrinsic value is nothing to do with action and everything to do with simply being.

    But, not to miss the forest for the trees…

    I was just recently waxing poetic to husband about the Trope of unrealized potential. My thought process was something like, “does that really happen as much as we see it in media, or do people who *can* simply *do*”?

    He not so delicately pointed out to me that he believes I could be a bestselling author, and here I sit, unpublished.

    Ouch…yet…good for him…propels me forward…both his faith in my ability to do and in forcing me to recognize that I have “failed to launch” thus far.

  4. Montaffera Says:

    Well, I have read 1.5 of your stories so far (4yr old is here…) and I think you should listen to hubby 😉 also look up Brendon Burchard on Twitter/YouTube if you want someone to tell you why you know you’re fab really, he always inspires me! x

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