It seems almost funny and fitting that the challenge issued as part of the 500 Words a Day challenge today is about confessing something. I wanted to just start writing again without addressing the “elephant” in my writing-world, but that was obviously not to be. So, here is what I am confessing:
I haven’t written in over a week.
At first it was just a day off. Then it was a weekend. Then a week. Here is the thing, though. I have thought about it every single day. I have opened my blog a few times and have even started several blogs. I have opened a couple different Word documents. I have read and re-read the introduction and outline of my book. I have puttered here and there with words, but I have not really written.
And, like all habits that are at that place of either forming or breaking, my writing sits. Every day I would look at the Facebook group. I would feel guilty for not writing. I would feel ashamed for what I was doing instead of writing. So, I kind of checked out.
I let my jealousy toward people succeeding at this journey get the better of me.
I let the fact that other people have bigger stories take the place of my story.
I stopped reading the blogs I loved because they were writing and I wasn’t.
I would see comments on Facebook posts and blogs and I would be frustrated that their writing is going so much better than mine.
I let the fact that I let one day turn into two turn into five turn into seven affect how I feel about my fellow writers.
That last one made me feel even more small, petty and less part of a community. Instead of loving the success of my friends, I was instead feeling sorry for myself and my lack of discipline and time management. And then the spiral continued. Today I decided I would write. The words are coming, but they’re hard. It’s like starting all over again, but without the excitement. Instead of being excited about writing, I’m confessing that I haven’t been a very good member of the writing community for the last week. I am sorry. I love the encouragement I get from my writing friends, but instead of celebrating their successes I have spent the last week wallowing in my own self-doubt.
Even writing this blog made me feel a little bad about what I was writing. I don’t want to lose the community that I’ve slowly started establishing. But, these days and weeks are why I have to write this and put it out there. Because these moments are just as real as the successes.
Sometimes confession is good for the soul. Sometimes it just reveals that, despite your best intentions, you are human and still fall prey to the insecurities and…sheer humanness that exists in us all.
Here’s to writing again, as painful, humbling, stretching and life-changing as every word can be.