And you know, I never really thought about it that way before and that bothers me. I think I take my writing for granted and maybe we all do in some way or another.
I have several folders tucked away on my computer full of poetry and story starts, ideas, thoughts, blurbs, essays, etc… And there they sit. And sit. And sit as if they were in some sort of stasis. They don’t grow or evolve. They are just a bunch of unfinished thoughts that I have left in a suspended animation of sorts – a wasteland of words unless I finally deem them worthy of my attention. Until then they don’t see the light of day.
Then I ask myself what on earth am I writing for? Why write if I am only going to hide those words and do nothing with them? In a way it is like buying a beautiful painting and then putting it in storage rather than hanging it up on the wall so you can enjoy it.
Some of my writing will not see the light of day and for good reason. It is for me and only me. Much of my poetry is that way and I think I wrote about this before. Some of my poetry I don’t mind putting out there. But then there are ones that come from a well of anger built up inside me. Much of that pertains to my relationship or lack thereof, with my father. It is how I dealt with that anger and sadness over certain things he did. I’m not sure how that would be perceived by “the masses” if I were to ever put it out there. I don’t know that I am that comfortable revealing that much of my inner core.
So then I ask the question, am I not being honest as a writer? If I can’t expose certain aspects of myself, will the reader sense that in my other writing? Maybe I’m thinking about this too much.
My other writing – my stories – are stories I started but have not finished. Oh there are so many of them. I keep letting things (namely me and my self-doubt/insecurities) get in the way and so they sit there in their stasis. For how long? I have no idea. Hopefully not long. I’m not saying any of those stories have potential. Perhaps none of them. But who knows unless they are given a chance to breathe and take on a life of their own?
The one main novel I have been working on for the last six years has been placed on hiatus for now until I can wrap my mind around what I actually want to do with it. I miss the characters though and I think of them often. What are they doing and why am I leaving them behind? I feel guilt over my neglect – like I’ve abandoned them. But I do know it isn’t their time yet. At least I keep telling myself that.
At some point I do realize I need to put myself out there and actually finish something, submit it and hope for the best. It’s not like I haven’t ever tried. I have. I just haven’t tried enough. And that is something that has to change. I have to take myself out of this self-imposed stasis and activate my writing. And then, maybe then I’ll be able to bring those stories to life as well. I owe them that.