When I began my two blogs, I had this idea that I'd write something for the public everyday. Faithfully. I had projects lined up for myself. I had PLANS!
Alas, life happens while you are busy making plans – or so said John Lennon. I think I quote that often because it's so true. Here I am again, falling behind on writing. Why is it that I have such a hard time getting myself to do this thing that I really love so much?
I know that it's not uncommon. Among my most brilliant writer friends, I know one especially insightful poet who says it's been seven years since she put pen to paper and another friend who still hasn't finished the novel he has been working on for about five or six years.
Then there are those others. My often published peers who always have something new completed, are always linking their latest piece on Facebook; it seems, though it's probably not the case, as if they never experience block. Or, worse than block, the feeling that if they sit down to write before the bed is made, the dishes are washed, the litter box is cleaned, the dogs and cats and children are fed, then they are being selfish, narcissistic brats. If it is true that they never feel the guilt or like their brains are running on empty, then good for them. Must be nice.
As for me, I experience block, writer's guilt, fear, difficulty sitting down and concentrating. And of course, there's the little voice at the back of my mind chanting that maybe it's just that they are all good and me? I'm not.
But that's not true of my friends who are lapsed writers (heh, that makes it sound like writing is some kind of religion we are struggling with, like one where we all worship at the altar of Chaucer and sacrifice animals to Whitman) and it's probably not completely true of me. I am semi-convinced. It does help when I meet new people who praise the work I do manage to get done – like the people in a little writing group I just joined. It also helps to be held somewhat accountable for getting the work done by those people – though they would probably be understanding if I had nothing to show, I would feel even more guilty if I didn't. Which is why I am already working on the next three chapters of my third novel. My third unpublished novel, but nevertheless, it's still progress.
Today is the eve of my 33rd birthday and every year around this time, I start thinking about what I haven't accomplished, yet. Then I get panicked and worry that I will always just be a dreamer. Where I am at in my “writing life” is not where I want to be, no. But I thought this year, I could confront that fact, then contemplate ways to move forward. I guess I've already started by joining a group and getting the work done...very slowly. I'm starting to think there is something to be said for being a late-bloomer and maybe, just maybe, letting my anxieties about being off-track overwhelm me is actually holding me back. Being a late-bloomer has always worked for me in so many other areas of my life, so why not in this one?