As usual, I’m writing in my head instead of on the computer or a piece of paper or basically anywhere where other people could see it. I read a book the other day (it wasn’t a long book, nor was it a very good book) and in that book I found two sentences that inspired me to re-think my writing life. You might be thinking that they were incredibly powerful sentences and you would be right, but for the wrong reason. Here, I’ll show you:
Unable to control my rage, I gave in to instinct and did the unthinkable. I gave him the most defiant glare I could manage.
What the … what?? A defiant glare (which is borderline redundant anyway) is the unthinkable? Because in my mind, glaring – even defiant glaring – is standard fare. Stripping naked and dancing on the table at a restaurant is unthinkable. Taking a dump in the middle of the living room is unthinkable. Chopping off the writer’s arm and beating her to death with it is unthinkable, if tempting. Mowing down holiday shoppers in the Wal-Mart parking lot is unthinkable. A little defiant glaring? Totally thinkable.
I looked up the author. She’s got a ton of books available for me to dissect, critique and mock. Her writing is … meh. It’s not terrible (the above example notwithstanding). It’s not great. But … it is clear from her bibliography that writing is in her soul. And I can’t mock that, ever.
That little paragraph, though. That hurt me. Not because it was bad, but because I won’t allow myself to write something that might pain someone else in the same way. Writers write because they have to write. I write because I have to write … but I write here, where no one sees it and I rarely write about things that truly matter to me. It’s safer that way. No one can mock it.
There is an entire website that shreds all the Twilight novels, almost sentence by sentence. It’s brilliant and hilarious, but I would die if someone tore apart my work that way. Anyway, in the novels, the Cullens drink animal blood. It keeps them alive and they don’t have to kill humans that way. That’s kind of what this blog is – animal blood. It keeps my writing alive, but it isn’t satisfying and it doesn’t allow my writing to grow.
There is a growing restlessness in me and a growing dissatisfaction with the way I express myself to the world. Right now, that restlessness and dissatisfaction are at war with my fear of rejection and fear of failure.
… to be continued …