I am simultaneously itching to write every single thought down and running from my laptop at the same time. I turn to memoirists and novelists that I respect, and read their words. As soon as I become part of their world and devour their words, I feel whole again, able to relax and breathe.
I’m flat terrified. I have a lot to say and a lot of it is going to be humiliating and not pretty. The truth of me, the truth of the experience, is filled with complete humanness. There are parts that will make me cry and parts that will make me feel so angry I’ll feel violent. Some parts of the story will make me cry, some will just press pause.
I’ve never felt this call to write in this particular way. The urgency isn’t new, but this urgency of step forward step back is. I feel as if I have nothing to say and everything to say at the same time. I’m terrified to forget things. I’m terrified to remember them and commit them to the page.
I have a naive streak a mile wide. I have always in my creative work just done it and then put it out there. But this has ended up actually hurting me on more than one occasion.
What if I tell what really happened and the sinkhole of reality opens up and my entire life changes again? What if my life doesn’t change? What if the words just fall flat, not even a gradual crescendo? What if nothing I have to say means anything, anyway? Perhaps this is the life of the writer, this doubt place. Maybe it’s the same for all writers.
For now, I’m just writing whatever pops into my head. Nothing has any structure and I have no idea what I’m doing. Last night I had a good dream that had nightmare moments when I attempted to support my case for connection and expansion in my work by telling a group of people my resume. They responded with a kind of “Well, good for you. But no thanks.”
The wise inner crone and the gentle friend inside of me reminds myself this: those are not my tribe members. Those are not the people I am writing for.
I’m writing for the brave woman that refuses to fit into the box that society has told her to be in. I’m also writing for the woman covered in babies that wants more. I”m writing for the woman that is driving to work in traffic and wants more. I’m writing for all women that want more. That more I write of is more of yourself. I want more of myself. And that’s what I write.
NOTE: I write from a cis, middle-class, white woman’s perspective, and my intention is not to eliminate other’s voices. But I cannot be someone I am not and I cannot write a story that is not mine.