Continue? 10… 9… 8… 7…

I stress myself out when it comes to writing. Short stories, blog posts, and even comments are a source of anxiety and phobia. I push through sentences only to return and scan the words angrily, upset at the lack of rhythm, redundancy, “of” over usage (really irks me!), and sub-par imagery. Then, there’s the issue of (ahh!) whether or not my posts, or as I like to call them – “psychotic typings” – are being read at all. There’s such little return in this passion to keep the flame ignited. I tell myself one like a day is plenty, one new follower a day is monumental; tips to keep myself from throwing in the towel. But, to be this self-conscious at every figurative turn, I can’t imagine for a successful writer.

The limited brain cells floating around in my attic saw a successful writer as someone who lived in a log cabin, drank 4-5 coffee cups a day while typing furiously into their laptop by a fireplace. Movie scripts, newspaper columns, magazine articles, you name it and a successful writer pumps them out assembly line style. It takes me half an hour to post a worthwhile comment. I seriously doubt I have what it takes.

My problem is I took the complements I received all my life too seriously. Ever since writing was an important scholastic endeavor, I remember being highly accredited for my work. In seventh grade, somehow, I was the only student who paid attention to the assignment details, and wrote a piece that made my teacher tear. He could’ve just been elated that someone in the thirty-five seats surrounding him caught a few seconds of what he had been saying all morning. I took it to mean that I was the Stephen King of my class. Then, there was an autobiography contest in high-school. I started and completed my paper the night before it was due. The following day my name appeared on a list written on the chalkboard. Apparently, I was a finalist. The paper took me to the final four where I lost out to an unidentified scholar. But, it was far enough to grant me a trip to the National Honors Society, which my mother made into a big deal. Truthfully, I didn’t care. Even my college English professor told me I was arguably the best writer in his class, someone whose work he was delighted to grade. I never took more than the hour of free time I had before his class to write his assignments. So, in my mind, I was easily number one.

Then, I turn to blogging, actually trying to piece together words to form original, thought-provoking material and for the first time in my entire life feel the smack of my own mortality. I don’t want to sound unappreciative of the likes, comments, and followers I have obtained, but I can’t peel away these insecure feelings that I’m just another WordPress junkie who thought he had it all figured out but didn’t.

I’m at the age where career-building is paramount. The experts say follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life. The only thing I can see myself doing is writing. Even though I drive myself insane, I’d rather impose my own perfectionist values on something creative and personal than to kiss some rich guy’s ass for a basic 9-5 gig. I know that much for sure.

But, the inspiration to pursue such a dream is waning.

I love blogging. I love reading interesting posts, articles, essays, and movie screenplays. I love sharing the proudest piece of my character with others: the writer and thinker within. Too often, however, I fear I’m not actually connecting with anyone out there, and these things I love are just a waste of time.

Perhaps, I am that 9-5 schmuck. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not what I imagined myself becoming. I suppose this is the part where I realize growing up is less about what you dream and more about what’s reality. I fear I’ve run out of reasons to hang on.

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“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”

— Chuck Palahnuik