Ever since that crazy post I wrote on getting serious about the business of writing, I’ve been battling the voices in my head that tell me I’m not interesting, that I have nothing to say, that I’m not a good writer. This is not me fishing for compliments or platitudes, by the way, but the reality of my brain.
(It also doesn’t help that I’m reading the blogs of some amazing writers, which TOTALLY puts me in a They Should Be Writing a Book, Not Me kind of mood.)
I don’t struggle with extroversion. In fact, I’m the opposite – I’m very energized by spending time alone. But her thoughts made me realize that my struggle with the voices in my head is part of the process of writing. And writing about the process of writing could be very beneficial for me in pushing through the insecurities of sharing my art with the world.
I know it seems strange that I would feel vulnerable at the thought of exposing my process of writing. I mean, what HAVEN’T I talked about on this blog, right? But this writing project I have in mind is different. At least in my mind it’s different, and perhaps this pedestal I’ve placed it on is the first obstacle for me to overcome.
It’s just writing, right? And I do that everyday, right?
(500 words – can I hear an amen?)
For me I think the vulnerability comes in the invitation of participation. As Notes to Self says on her writing blog – it is a place to “test-drive poems, and a sketchpad for fleshing out ideas. A place to talk about the creative process.” – I too hope to test drive essays and flesh out story ideas and work through my creative process. I will be welcoming feedback and critique on work I have created.
And maybe that’s the real difference. In my regular blog writing, when I describe the edge of the cliff I’m standing on at the moment, I welcome the community of discussion, but I don’t necessarily ask for critical feedback on my grammar or writing style. But in my posts on writing I hope to hear from you regarding what works, what’s moving slow, what’s unclear, etc.
So if you want your name to appear in the ‘acknowledgments’ section of my book when it’s published, I suggest you speak up when I ask you for feedback [wink].
In the meantime, to beat back those voices that cause me to freeze, I remind myself that I am a constant student of other writers. I pay attention to cadence, and style, and voice, and use of punctuation, and other, more creative ways to say, “I like guacamole.” And this reminds me that even if I am not a great writer at the moment, something inside me is driving me to learn more and dig deeper into myself so the natural ability in me can be dusted off and polished.