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  • Writer's picturejmcsperitt

Write Out the Doubt

Someone once said to me that a “real” writer is someone who writes every day for a certain amount of time and I immediately thought, “Says who? Who is making up all the rules on what and how we can do what we do?” Surely, the consistency of writing daily could give you a greater chance at doing it successfully, but my relationship with writing seems to be a lot more rocky.

Some days my entire body tingles with excitement over a new idea or the vision of my work published and bound up as a beautiful book. I feel euphoric and giddy at the prospects ahead and emotion overwhelms me to the point that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with hope and anticipation. In these moments, inspiration comes into my head so quickly that I can’t get it on paper fast enough. I fear I’ll forget it before I get it down. Oddly, the very next day, I sometimes lose all my zest. Doubt creeps in and sits on my shoulders bugging me, making me wonder if what I’m trying to say is anything worth saying or if all this writing is just my mental thoughts in words, and really, who needs to know all these things about me? Clearly, I’m perplexed by life and scrutinizing it to the point I feel the need to write a book about it, but that doesn’t make it a bestseller.

Not surprising, with these feelings, all of my grandiose ideas disappear into some unknown vortex with no scheduled delivery date back to my brain. I’ve lost it. I’ve lost everything. Including my desire to write anything. I wonder what I’m doing, why I’m doing all of this, and if my faith in it is completely ridiculous. I feel torn between pursuing my dream and giving it up completely because really, where is this going and how long is it going to take me? My faith is dwindling and so is my creativity.

This void has continued, at times, for months. Just black. Nothing coming back. I have nothing more to write about. It’s like everything came out and now I have nothing more to say. What was I writing about anyway? I begin to fear that my creativity has vanished entirely and that I have wasted a lot of time believing in something that may never manifest in reality. Not long ago, I was eating, living, breathing books. Now I’m sitting here tormenting myself to write. Guilt is what brought me to the computer today. Guilt that I haven’t written in weeks. Maybe I’m just a fair-weather writer and the moment the words stop coming, I’m ready to throw in the towel. But then again, I only write when I feel inspired and when I have something to say, so sometimes that’s every day and sometimes that’s once a week and I guess that’s okay. That doesn’t make me any less of a writer. In fact, I try to steer clear of any rules on writing because I don’t want to feel pressured or structured to write. When I feel passionate and I write in that moment, the work will reflect that. There is no point in me sitting around trying to drum up things to say when I’m not in the mood, and I haven’t been lately, but big deal. That doesn’t mean I’m now unqualified to write. Sometimes I find something I like then briefly lose sight and maybe fall off the wagon for a while, but it’s alright. I don’t think I should go back to the dream drawing board. I’ve just got to write out the doubt and wait without fear because disbelief is what seems to make my dream disappear.

Disappear completely, however, it does not because right about the time when I’ve reached the end of my rope, when I’ve lost all hope, when it gets to the point where I want to throw the idea out the window, I read something, or somebody says something, and thoughts start swirling. My creativity revives itself from somewhere within and the fountain of faith flourishes once again. It’s persistent at least in its commitment and in its power not to give up the fight. My dream of being an author won’t let me sleep at night. Even though I sometimes do things to distract myself from my calling, I never feel fully satisfied if I’m not working on this thing I feel I should be doing. It sits in front of me on my desk. I look at it and think about it every day. I want it more than anything, but it sits idle because I’ve temporarily lost my creativity or because I have other obligations and responsibilities I’ve deemed more demanding. I put them first and so it sits and eats at me. The thought of not following my dream and my destiny taunts me incessantly until I eventually find my way back, once again, to writing.

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