There's this thing that's been happening for nearly a year now. It started shortly after my Kickstarter campaign in September. It's been building since then. Well, maybe "building" is the wrong word for it. It's like silence. A silent room can't technically get more silent than it was before, but it can certainly feel that way, like the quiet is thickening, like it's becoming more tangible somehow. Which, come to think of it is an apt metaphor...
I stopped writing.
Well, that's not fair. I'll pick at things here or there. I say I'm working on this short story, or that bigger project, or whatever. I'm researching. Story-mapping. Figuring things out.
It's what I tell the people at my writing group, or any friends who bother to ask how my art is going. (Yes, I have the kind of really cool friends who ask stuff like that. I'm blessed.) But the truth is somehow, somewhere along the way I stopped believing I can do this. I stopped believing that any of it mattered, or that anything I do or say could mean anything. Ray Bradbury once said, "You fail only if you stop writing."
Well, Ray. I've failed.
Even this blog. I didn't want to get on here and admit any of this. It feels very much like an exercise is pointlessness. Pointlessness seems to be the theme of everything I say or do or think or am these days. And when you say stuff like that, even if it's true - well, you're just a whiner. Nobody wants to listen to that pathetic wallowing existential angst shit. Get it together, woman! You're an adult. Grab the reins to your own damn life.
I don't want to climb Everest. I'm not searching for Atlantis. I'll never leave footprints in the red sands of Mars.
But I'm tired of being so afraid, and I just want to tell you a story.
(I'm going to get it wrong. I'm going to mess it up so bad. I'm a sad, stunted, small person. This story is so much bigger and more beautiful than I could ever hope to be. How can I expect anything beautiful or worthwhile to come out of the likes of me?)
So if I do this it isn't for my writing group or my friends or family or for an agent or publisher or some imaginary adoring public. If I do this, if I try this, if I'm serious about this, then it's just for me. I don't have to show it to anybody, or talk to anybody about it.
I just have to tell the best, most true, most beautiful story I can. I have to move forward despite my imperfections. I can't let the silence win.
I have to keep writing.