It wasn’t all that long ago that I declared publicly, foolishly, that I am a writer. It was about eight years ago, give or take a month. I was on the West Lawn at Flagler College, the brightest-eyed freshwoman ever to grace the thick, scruffy grass. The oak trees were retired soldiers, weary of standing post, prone to sagging, weighed down by the creeping Spanish moss on their shoulders. That day in March, or April (in Florida there two seasons, hot and less hot) I reveled in this newfound self-knowledge: twirling, leaping, flinging my flattened flip flops into the air. I could not have been more certain of any other truth. As if it were a door one walks through, into Writerland.
For eight years, I have tried to replicate that feeling about writing, about anything. Truly, I have known nothing with such certainty since that day. Until, maybe, today. This day. I know now that I am my own worst enemy. I’m so smart that I tricked myself into believing that there is something or someone else to blame for the fact that I’ve been idling for eight years. I believed this with such conviction that I justified every inactivity or meek moment on the grounds that I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I was. I am. Afraid.
A writing professor said to me (familiarly, as if I were just like her) “We write because we have to.” So simple, that truth. I want to. But I don’t feel as though I have to. I so desperately want to. But is it a ruse, if I never feel the irrepressible need to scribble? Is that desperate wanting actually a need that I’ve disguised? I am holding myself back. I’m doing it. Not the MS, not the insane pressure of perfectionism, just me. My fears. My complacency. But I realize now that I will always feel the lack if I don’t express myself in some way.
So here I am, and here you are. I don’t want to waste your time, but at the end of the day, this is about me and my quest. I hope you find something worthwhile here and decide to come back. I will try to supply a reason to do so. I am going to try to use a structured approach for a while. I’m a collector of quotations. As a someday teacher I will use these quotes as writing prompts, so I plan on testing that here, on myself. Thank you for staying to read this much.