It happens almost every day. I read something, or hear an interview on the radio, and I get the itch to write. I crave the release of sitting down at the keyboard and letting it all out--all the things that I would write, could write, if only I had the time and the space and the I-don't-even-know-what. I compose paragraphs in my head, and they are perfect. And then when I finally sit down with a blank page--often after days or weeks of feeling the itch, of telling myself I should write, I need to write--my mind is utterly blank. And then I think, well, maybe my life is too ordinary. Maybe I really don't have anything to write about. Why am I pressuring myself? Isn't there something to be said for the unexamined life, anyway?
But I think I've just been stuck. I think I just cannot get the critic out of my head, the voice that says it will never be good enough. It will never be what you want. When I was younger, I always fancied myself the burgeoning young writer. Now, I make a living with my writing. People say I am a good writer. And yet I spend my time looking at the writing of others, thinking that I just don't have it in me to be as good as they are. Thinking that maybe I'm not so good as I thought I was. And maybe I'm not. But it's time to try. Because there's nothing I hate more than a person who is constantly complaining about all the things they would do if only they had time, if only they had a dedicated room and more money and specialized equipment and a sunbeam shining down from heaven to light their workspace.
A novelist I know once told me that what it takes to become a published author is less talent and inspiration than sheer perseverance. It's getting up at 5 in the morning if you have to, stealing the time to write. It's saying "Fuck it. I know this is going to suck, but I am going to sit here and do it anyway." Though I can't yet commit to getting up at 5 in the morning (God, please tell me I'll never have to get up at 5 in the morning!), this is my first step. I'm sitting here writing, even though there is a crowd of voices in my head, all of them telling me that this is no good. They're asking me why I'm writing, when there's no one out there reading. They're telling me that I will never be as good as the others. They're telling me that I'm a whiner, that no one will ever want to read my self-absorbed crap. But I'm still here. I'm still typing.
I know that the way to get people to read your blog is to comment on other blogs, ones that people actually read. But I am afraid. I don't know if this is ready for anyone to see. I haven't even told my husband about it yet. So I'll give myself some time to find my voice, and to quiet all those others that are shouting in my ear.