TO BE OR NOT TO BE
To be a writer or not to be a writer. I ask myself this question on a daily basis. Some days it is the only thing I want to be, and other days I feel that I must be out of my mind to even entertain the thought.
My friends and family – except for my daughter and sister – look at me like I have lost my mind when I say that I want to be a writer. I remember writing stories when I was a child and being told to quit wasting my time – there was no future in writing – it wasn’t practical. I was told to be a lawyer or an accountant. Everyone had a plan for my future – my input wasn’t needed. My dreams were to be sacrificed to satisfy two people whose own dreams never saw fruition. They chose my college and what I would study – it was very disappointing to them when I threw everything away and joined the army. But even then the damage was done – I was filled with too much doubt and fear to pursue writing seriously.
Fear and doubt still rule my life. I see the dedication and energy that the other Writing Wenches put into their craft and I feel discouraged and ashamed that I don’t put the same effort in. There are days when my doubt is so loud that all I want to do is cut out all contact with anything that has to do with writing – the fear is constantly weighing on me that I will never be good enough and that I am just a pretender and don’t belong in groups like the Writing Wenches or 10 Minute Novelists. But then there are days when all I want to do is bask in the groups’ encouragement and be there to encourage them when I can. There are so many stories running around in my head, but I can’t seem to get them down on paper. I think the reason is that if I do get the stories written, I will find that my fears were correct and everyone will see I have no talent and that I have been wasting everyone’s time. So I procrastinate and make excuses on why I don’t follow my writing dream. I’m fairly certain if procrastination was an Olympic Sport I would have a gold medal.
I guess the true question is not whether I should be a writer or not. The question is if I have enough courage and inner strength to overcome my fears and doubts and pursue my writing dream and see where it takes me, or do I turn my back on the dream which won’t leave me alone and live with regrets and “what might have been.”