in my head, that is. Been reading Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” again – I must really have a true writer’s brain, because I have the mental “editor” who wants to comment on everything I put down. I have the “observer” who is always active even in the very middle of living my life – turning events over to look at them from the other side. I have every kind of voice in my head yelling that I’m not really a writer, that my writing stinks, that why if I really am a writer does my former friend have thousands of hits on her blog daily even when she has nothing new to say for weeks on end? Jealousy rears its ugly green eyed head. (And, evidently, so do pithy cliches.) Self preservation insists that I not use my Real Voice as no one would ever accept the real me hidden behind the mask.
Over the summer the writing urge burned up so fiercely and sudden that I cranked out a fanfiction for my favorite show – but never published it. I reread it and thought it was trite, hackneyed crap – maybe it was, and maybe it wasn’t – but I never put it out there for anyone else to decide. And I’ve read some *really* bad fanfictions – ones that drove me crazy for mixing up “your” and “you’re” and using indescribable and undecipherable punctuation and sentence structure.
I write alone, unnoticed, in the bits and fragments of my life. Waiting at the bus stop, hovering while my kids do homework, in between loads of laundry. My journal has received most of whatever “wisdom” I’ve spouted – out of fear and confusion over which blog to publish on, my open one or my hidden one – I’ve posted nearly nothing.
Yet the writing urge still comes, stronger and stronger these days. I actually sat in the very middle of a family party, with my iPod on, writing for all I was worth while life swirled around me. Lately when I don’t write, the mental itch threatens my sanity. I wrestle with two incompatible urges – the urge to write, and the urge to be read. One is honest, one self-serving. And yet, Natalie says that all writers have both. For what other reason do we write than to put a piece of our soul on display? Whether to others or only to our own future self, someone will eventually read what we’ve written.
So, out of sheer curiosity, and a desire for sanity, I’m trying an experiment. That of using this blog for its original intention – the preservation of my actual, in-the-moment thoughts, the real ones – not the pre-edited ones.
Maybe if I really trust the process things will work themselves out.