It’s been a while since I have found myself confidently writing on my Mac lately. Don’t get me wrong. I putter about on the keyboard all the time and have drafts and drafts of things I would never put out there, because lately I feel like my words are meandering and just too much.
They say too much and they might scare you. They even scare me a little.
You could say that I am going through a phase in my life. A tough one and one that has brought up some questions for me and caused me to doubt myself on many levels. I find the confidence that I had on many fronts slipping away from my fingers and being suffocated by an endless stream of questions plagued with self doubt which challenge my self worth and even my identity as they try to quash the positive I know I have inside me.
I admire people who can use these moments in their lives to launch into creative bursts where they can channel the demons that taunt them and instead face forward and write about these hard moments – with honesty and humility and painful truthfulness. Even if writing what they are facing is hard or too revelatory. They embrace their monsters and forge ahead and share their ugly truths. And it’s not that they don’t care what others think.
They have just made a choice.
There have been times in my life where I can do this and there are others where I just don’t have the will, the strength to put the most vulnerable part of me out there. It’s too painful. Or it’s not practical. I still have a professional life outside of blogging and there is always the fear that one of my revelations may be the tipping point in maintaining a career and this creative, but public, outlet that I love.
The immortality of the words I choose to place on the internet is always something I consider before I hit the publish button on one of my posts. Even if I ever have to delete a post that I put out there – I still can’t erase its footprint and the fact that my words can still be emblazoned on the minds of whoever did read the post.
Not that I am saying my words are “emblazoning.” I don’t think that’s even a word. I’m just making a point in the potential longevity of my thoughts. Thoughts that might seem like a good idea to say out loud at this moment. But which I really don’t get any “take backs” on.
And so the thoughts that go through my mind quash my creativity and a tiny bit of my spirit, if I were to be painfully honest, as I sit down to write each time.
Shit, what will my parents think?
I hope my husband doesn’t hate me for saying this.
One day, my kids might read my blog.
The employer of my dreams may think my honesty is a little too fucking real for them.
Shit, what will my parents think?
Does my honesty here equate to crazy in real life?
Will I hurt anybody by saying what I need to say – to heal, to vent, to clear my mind and conscience?
Oh fuck, what if my kids’ teachers read my blog?
Does anybody care what I really have to say anyway?
What can I really write about that’s worth reading that hasn’t already been said?
Will anybody even read this?
Will people think I curse too much? Goddamnit.
SHIT. What will my parents think?
And so all of these thoughts and more go through my head. And my fingers start to slow down on the keyboard – the once purposeful rhythm is lost. And I take my drafts and ensure that they stay drafts and I turn my back on believing that the words that are coming out mean anything. To me. To anyone at all.
Going through a creative crisis like this is not an easy thing to do but I would imagine that any creative person goes through some variation of this. When it happens to me, it feels like the air is a little thicker – a little heavier to breathe. My steps are slower and the confidence I have waivers not just in my creative world, but in every aspect of my life.
I try to explain this to my husband, John. And I think he gets it as much as he can get it, being as he’s never been drawn to the same creative outlets as me or thought of writing as therapy.
But that’s very much what it is. Therapy. And in a way, it helps my spirit survive and stay a little more complete. When I silence it, I take away a huge part of who I am.
And so I’m hoping and I’m praying that this hiatus in writing and this particularly hard thing I am going through which has stopped the words from flowing is simply that – a hiatus. A necessary one which allows me the time to process what I need to process in private and resume writing as soon as my heart can handle it again.
I have never taken for granted that I have a blog which is read my many friends – both whom I know in real life and whom I have made online. I am not a “big” blogger, but my words do get read and I am grateful that something I find worthy of writing is considered by some to be worthy of sharing. It’s both gratifying and humbling when that happens, and I feel very fortunate to be able to make an impact with words.
I hope for anyone else who is in a creative crisis that you find your way through. I think these ups and downs have to happen so we can appreciate what a gift it is when the words DO come, when the brave comes out and when the fear goes away.
So we can breathe.
Keep breathing, friends.