I have some very talented, brilliant, writer friends—friends who should have their work published and should have a huge following and make money doing what they love. I also have writer friends who should probably not write and would be much better off focusing their creative energy on other things. Every once in a while, I wonder which of those groups I would fall into…
There are things I could write that would make money and there are things I want to write because they’d make me happy. They rarely seem to be the same things.
At some point, the act of writing took a backseat to the how and why of writing; I suppose that is what keeps me from sharing as much as I did when I was younger. I went from putting ink on paper as a daily ritual to needing to feel as though the idea was worthy of the ink and the words deserving of the effort. It’s scary to put little pieces of your heart and soul out for the world to see. Doing so can reveal more than intended about who you are and what you think and, conversely, could be interpreted incorrectly and lend characteristics to you that are absolutely untrue.
To be candid, there is a simple reason that I edit writing that belongs to other people rather than publish something of my own: I’m not courageous enough to relinquish something I have written and hand it off to someone else like me. I struggle with the very idea of allowing it to be dissected and critiqued.
Even here, some of my favorite blogs remain unreleased because as long as they are unposted, they are unfinished; they are growing still and altering them changes nothing for anyone but me. I can even make myself believe that this is done in the name of perfection.
Once I finish something, though, it is Frankenstein’s Monster. Life has been breathed into it and the damage is done. It lives. That’s terrifying.
I admire the people who confront that fear and move forward in spite of it, but I envy the people who never realized there was any reason to be afraid.