I don’t post here as much as I should. And it’s not because of a lack of opinions or topics. It’s not even due to a lack of time or a level of commitment to blogging. What prevents me from posting regularly is fear, plain and simple.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was little, I was writing and telling stories. When my mother passed away a few years ago, I found some stories of mine that she had kept from when I was in third or fourth grade. It’s something I’ve always cared about, always done well academically in, and will probably always be something I hope to do with my life. But when it comes to putting words down, I freeze. Choke, if you will.
I have several short stories in progress, two graphic novel scripts started, a weekly(ish) web comic, and a novel that has been in hiatus for damn near ten years. I’ve taken classes on writing, been mentored by someone I admire greatly, and have had generally positive reviews of my work from souls brave enough to read my writing. I even get some pretty good feedback on this blog, and I don’t work on it nearly enough.
Why? I mean, not why do I get positive reviews and whatnot. I’m not so self-critical that I think I’m actually bad at what I want to do. But, for some reason, I’m still afraid to pursue this with the gusto that I need to in order to succeed. Maybe I’m afraid of failing. Maybe I’m afraid that people won’t like what have to say. Heck, maybe I’m afraid of succeeding. I don’t really know, honestly, except that sometimes sitting at my desk and just working on something is the scariest thing I can think of.
So I tool around on the internet, play writing games with my friends, watch TV, play video games, read comics, and basically do absolutely nothing to advance my career.
I make a lot of excuses for it. I’m a student, so it’s really easy to say that I’m focusing on my schoolwork. And I work part time, so it’s easy to say that I’m too drained to do any serious writing (serious meaning serious about doing it, not serious subject matter). And I have a pretty active social life, so it’s easy to say I don’t have time. Everything is easier to do than writing.
I was browsing for jobs today. I graduate next semester with a BA in English: creative writing and a minor in German. I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Maybe teach. Apparently that’s what people with English degrees do. Or maybe I’ll go back to working at my dad’s karate school. Or maybe I’ll keep working at the mall forever.
But all I want to do is tell stories. I want to write for Marvel or DC or Image or even self-publish my own comics. I want to have a collection of short stories and a novel or two. I want to write for magazines. I want, I want, I want.
I just don’t do. I don’t sit down and tell the stories that are in my head. I don’t bang out a bunch of scripts to send to my amazingly talented artist. I don’t self-promote. I don’t even blog.
Is it hard? No, not really. I have a pretty straight-forward process with my writing that has served me well over the last bunch of years. And I don’t write things that make me uncomfortable (you know, like things with bad words in them). I just let myself get side-tracked by stupid, menial garbage that sets me back from my dream over and over again.
If you were reading this and hoping that I’d come to the part where I have this big epiphany about the meaning of life and what I have to do, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I didn’t get into a debilitating car accident to realize that life is too short to procrastinate or have a heart-to-heart talk with one of my idols telling me to just keep plugging along. I haven’t even read “The Little Engine That Could” since I was a kid. Nothing really prompted me to write this.
I just did.
Maybe that’s the epiphany. Maybe after I write this, I’ll be motivated to write about the Avengers vs. X-Men story, or write more about my love for Buffy. I saw the Avengers movie and it was awesome, I could totally write about that. Or I could talk about the amazing concert I saw featuring two of my favorite local artists. Or I could keep working on my stories or comic strips.
And the day after that, I’ll write some more. And the day after that. And the day after that.
Because I should. Because even writing this, I feel more like who I am supposed to be. The more words I put into this post, the more complete I feel. Even if no one reads this, even if no one cares, I’m doing the only thing that feels truly natural to me.
Being who I am shouldn’t be so scary. Doing what I love shouldn’t be scary. And maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe I just have to do it. Every day. Forever. Because it’s the only thing I care to do.