I’ve been reading through a lot of old journal entries lately. I have so many journal “projects” around, it’s a wonder I can keep them all straight. What I’ve found out by going back to the archives, is the fact that I am a capable writer. I do have some sliver of talent. I’m by no means best-selling author material, but I don’t suck.
What gets me is most of the “good” stuff I’ve read lately is generally venting on and on about writer’s block and what it’s doing to my projects. I’ve managed to compose pseudo-intelligent commentary on the subject. It’s actually coherent. Which poses the question…why can’t I write like this all the time? Why can’t I write like this in my regular, day-to-day journal. The one people actually read. Instead of sounding like I have a brain in my head it comes out as erratic drivel, spewed forth from a drunk howler monkey. When writing about my life, writing about things I know, it’s crap. When I’m writing something fictional or writing about writing, it’s okay. I don’t understand it. I probably never will.
Reading through the old entries, I thought to myself that the so-called “good” stuff, doesn’t sound like me. There are a lot of tell-tale signs that are signature me, but at the same time it all sounds very foreign. How can this be mine? It’s not total crap.
I’m not in complete denial here. I know I can write. I know I can compose things people would actually want to read. It’s just difficult for me to admit that out loud. I’m a perpetual pessimist. I have a love/hate relationship with my writing. Apparently I love to hate it.
I’ll write something that, at the given moment, sounds pretty good. The next time I pick it up and read through it, I realize it’s total crap. I’ll leave it alone for awhile…days, months, even years…and when I pick it up and reread it, I realize, it’s not really that bad. Some of it is actually good. Granted this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it reminds me that I don’t completely suck as a writer.
When I throw caution to the wind and just write, there’s no problem. The words get put down on the page and each time I read through it, I start to like it more and more. It’s just that it is very difficult for me to just sit down and write. I can rarely muster the attention span to fully concentrate on what I’m trying to do. There is so much noise in my head, it just comes out garbled and useless. But when I can just write…I enjoy every last minute of it. And I remember exactly why I want to be a writer.
I try to remind myself of this when I start to lose sight of what I really want to accomplish. Sometimes there’s just too much fog to see it clearly and it’s easy to just shove it aside and forget about it until the fog eventually clears.
There’s been a lot of fog for quite some time now. I’m trying to fumble my way through it, slowly but surely. I’m just not so sure how far it is until the haze disappears.