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.