Writing: A Writer’s Plight

To Write or Not to Write? That is the question. Let me put it in perspective for you … Asking this question is like asking:  Live a great life or live a mediocre life?

Wait! Scratch that! It isn’t dramatic enough. Where’s the conflict? Where’s the hook? Rewrite:

To Write or Not to Write? That is the question. It’s like asking live or die? Do I want to live? Or, do I want to die?

Still needs work … probably because I’m sampling a famous line. Right?

But, putting words down on paper, for me, is life, each word a breath. Breathing isn’t something I have to think about. It just happens naturally. Writing comes naturally enough (in the sense that I have lots of nothing to say) but I have to think about it. Thinking about words is tiring and exhilarating.

Anyway, back to the question. I choose life over death. So, right or wrong; I choose WRITE! It’s like distinguishing between good and evil. Who wins? Good always triumphs. And I want to save the world. You see I have a small superhero complex. Shh … don’t tell anyone. My cape is tucked into my tights (not comfortable) and my secret identity is in place to protect those I love.

But I digress …

Words are my journey and along the way I wonder, right or left? Moment by moment, day by day, I am presented with this decision. Today, I’ll go WRITE but tomorrow I may go left, just to observe the wonders of the world before getting back on the right path, the writing path.

Shakespeare had the right idea (of course, he’s one of the greats) with “… to be or not to be …” As I pursue my life long dream, I find myself standing at the corner of “to be” and “not to be”. A writer that is … And I can’t decide which direction to go … Why? Simply put:  FEAR. Fear of failure mostly but fear of success too. Fear of being judged for something as personal as writing.

Especially since, I struggle with failed attempts at being witty. I struggle with using clichés to tell my stories. I struggle with basic grammar, punctuation, and word choice. I haven’t a clue about dialogue (especially when the best conversations I have happen in my head). I’m still trying to figure out show vs. tell, where the story starts and ends, and if I like my own voice. There’s so much to know and do.

I’ve come to the realization that I am a better verbal storyteller than I am a writer.

Writing is hard work. And I’m not good at it but still it haunts me. It won’t let me go any more than I can let go of it. I keep at it hoping something will change. Just short of insanity. You’ve heard the definition of insanity, haven’t you? But in my defense, writing is something that you can keep doing over and over again and get a different result. Right?

So I have to wonder … Should growing up and being good at a profession that I have fallen into rather than the one that chose me remain an obstacle? Should my inadequacies define me? Should fear win out?

Of course not!

Today, I am a bad writer.

Tomorrow I’ll be a better writer.

One day I’ll be a good writer.

So to my fellow dreamers, aspiring writers, and [insert other kindred label here], don’t let your hang ups stop you from choosing life. Choose “to be” whatever you’ve always wanted.