You know what I love more than anything? Being called out. I love standing in a room of people and having someone say something pointed that is directed at me. (That there? Sarcasm.)
Thanks, Jeff Goins. You may as well just start all your posts with, ‘Dear Thelma, let’s go already.’
I’m talking about writing a good deal lately, aren’t I? When I returned to blogging a few weeks ago, I hinted that we’d sort out why I was gone for so long. If you read my guest post over at Deidra’s this week a bit more of the answer spilled out.
For months I have been saying to Len and a few friends that I was just going to write for the sake of writing. The intent was to carve out a few hours each week at a local coffee shop and just write. I did it once. Once. I spent most of those hours chatting on online, wasting time on Facebook and drinking decaf.
Fear is a big deal. Believing you’re the only one sitting in quiet terror is an even bigger deal. For the past few months, fear was the quiet reason I pushed down my barely-controlled desire to write. Words would bubble up and simmer in my mind, pressing against the very edges of my control in an effort to be set free. I did my best to turn down the heat and shove them down.
The Len said, ‘Just write for yourself. Write because you have to.’ I thought maybe he didn’t understand that I was afraid. Then he said, ‘You can’t stop something before you even start.’ Stop stalling, Thelma. And so I did. I started blogging again. I found the courage to tell a few friends my new plan: I will just write because I must. Forget the future and the long-desired book deal and the blog stats. Today, I will write.
The fact that Jeff Goins got all up in my grill and started his ‘You are a Writer‘ challenge a few weeks later? Y’all know I don’t believe in coincidence.
I’ve been writing for two hours every day since. I’m hooked. The girl whose husband had to drag her out of bed each morning to get ready for work is parked in front of the laptop each morning at 4am. Writing. It’s ugly sometimes. I’m learning to be okay with that. Turns out I need to relearn not to write and edit at the same time. I’m learning to be okay with that too.
It’s a little mind-blowing, to be honest. Part of me wants to apologize for not serving up my usual fare here in this space but if you stick with me here, I think we’ll both be grateful for it. Part of me just wants to go back to bed and stop this early morning nonsense. Jeff would never know, but I would. And apparently that means something to me now.
What about you? Is there something that makes you feel less ‘you’ if you don’t do it?