Every once in a while I feel the need to spill my guts. I hate having secrets. I truly do. So, when I first started hunkering down for Hurricane Sandy, I started writing down my five biggest reading and writing confessions to share with the interwebs. Of course, then my power went out like five hours before the storm hit and stayed out for a week and a half, so I was a nomad, traveling with my dog first to my aunt and uncles house, then to my mom and dad’s, in search of heat, hot water, and cooked food (EVERYTHING in my apartment is electric, damnit!). But we came through unscathed, thank the light, and many many people around me can’t say any such thing, so I’m thrilled. With no further ado, since I’m terrible at ado’s, here are my five biggest writing confessions.
1) I go weeks without writing a word.
It’s true. There are weeks I write EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And sometimes even multiple times a day, but usually that lasts about a week sand then I’m doodling or writing terrible nonsense again. I don’t know. My roommate writes, too, and he says he has a similar cycle, so maybe it isn’t so terrible, but I always feel SO guilty when I realize a week – or two! – has gone by without me SERIOUSLY putting pen to paper. That’s literal, by the way – I always longhand before I type things up. I like to be old school, sue me. The point is, I have NO disciple when it comes to writing. When things stop coming easily, I grab a book and start reading again rather than working through the block. I do always come back to it, but it takes me a while.
2) I’m my own worst critic.
It’s part of the reason my writing is so sparodic. If I can’t express a scene cearly enough for my own liking – or worse, if a scene doesn’t GO anywhere – I get more frustrated than a child with the flu on Halloween. And then I go read or play video games and don’t go back to writing until I feel the muse stirring again, which may take a while. Which is why I go weeks without writing, Because I;m simply NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH. Silly reason, I know. But there it is.
3) I have never filled up a notebook.
As mentioned in number 1, I longhand everything before it gets typed up. My notebooks end up being conglomerations of blog posts, ideas for short stories, scenes for my novel, short stories themselves, etc. But I’ve never filled one up with writing. I’ve used them up by giving them up to the apartment for game scorekeeping, shopping lists, notes, etc, and watching them dwindle that way, but never by filling them cover to cover with my scribbles. The journal I’m using now is as far as I’ve ever gotten, at about 3/4 of the way full, and I am goddamn bound and determined to fill it all the way. I’ll probably have a party if I manage it. Even if it’s just a mini dance party alone in my room. Hm, that got sad quickly. Moving on. It’s a function of my sporadic writing and the ADD society we live in, I suppose. If I go too long without writing, I lose track of my instruments and have to start over. I hate it.
4) I’m cripplingly insecure.
Like, to the point that I have heart palpitations if someone unexpectedly comes across and reads a bit of my writing. I’m no Jack Kerouac to chase an ideal of first word best word – as I said, I’m my own worst critic, and most things go through several mental drafts before pen hits page and at least one hasty dust up while typing before it gets posted, at minimum. And that’s mostly because I’m looking for critiques and places to polish when I send out or post my fiction. Something hastily scrawled in a notebook though – NOT meant for public consumption. THAT being read will turn me red and trembling like no other. Probably an outsized reaction all around, but I never claimed to be either calm or practical.
5) I am so fucking wordy I drive myself up a goddamn wall.
Seriously, I hear this all the time. In critiques on my fiction writing, in papers in college, even at work. I love words. As much as, if not more than, I love bacon. And if I don’t keep a tight leash on my pen 0 if my attention wanders for even an moment while I’m writing – huge chunks of word vomit appear on the page with no purpose and no explanation of where they came from. And since I do much of my blogging and fiction writing drunk, there can be quite a lot of that word vomit floating around. Not quite as gross as real vomit to clean up, but just as difficult. Sometimes, there are diamonds to be dug out of the mess and those make it almost worth it, but usually not quite. I’ve yet to find an exercise that cures me of this affliction.
So there you have it. My five biggest writing confessions. I hope you had fun commiseration with me if you saw yourself in any of them, or judging me if you don’t. Feel free to put your own confessions in the comments – it feels good to get them all out! And check out my reading confessions too, to get a fuller picture of my terribleness. ❤