“This is the most I’ve ever heard you talk”

I need to stop letting all the distractions pull me away from my writing. I’ve had intentions of sitting down and writing every evening for the past week, but other things kept coming up and I ended up with a grand total of about 500 words all week (including my Friday Fictioneers piece). Granted, a big part of those other things was being sick, but that doesn’t change the fact that I let life pull me away from writing. I’m chronically diseased in that way. I always let life get in the way. I know I’ll never get anywhere with my writing if I don’t buckle down, but still it’s hard sometimes. Sometimes I’d rather let myself fail than actually try. It doesn’t feel like I’ve failed if I don’t put it the effort. Then it doesn’t hurt so much when the failure comes.

To be completely honest, I think it’s a fear thing more than anything else that is holding me back. I’ve not yet been able to convince myself that my writing is worth reading, and until I can find a way to do that, justifying the time I spend writing is a difficult thing for me.

I think it’d be that way even if I was a best-selling author. That’s just the way I am. I’m a shy introvert, so it’s difficult for me to throw myself to the wolves when I’m not totally convinced I’m capable of fending off said wolves (a.k.a. I’m not convinced I’m a good, or even decent, writer). I think I would likely prefer a pack of actual wolves to being torn apart by readers who hate the words I’ve spewed onto the pages before them. Putting myself out there isn’t easy for a guy like me.

I recently came back into contact with a neighbor who grew up just up the block from me. We shared the same group of friends so we were in contact quite a bit when we were young. The thing is, when we got together recently, I barely spoke (as is my way) and she said that’s the most she’s ever heard me talk. That’s where the title of this post came from. Those were her exact words. THAT is how shy I was growing up. I barely even spoke to my friends. I was always there and always listening, glad to go along with what they wanted to do, and generally happy. I just didn’t talk. It felt unnecessary and awkward to me, still does with most people. There are very few people in this world with whom I’m comfortable enough to talk freely.

I’ve come a long way since then but I’m still terribly concerned with saying the wrong thing, so I usually hold my tongue. I find I do the same thing in my writing. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Running my words through my internal filter fifty times before jotting them down, then second guessing them may be a valuable editing tool, or it may just be holding me back- probably the later. If I could pop the cork on the reservoir of words I’ve held back over my lifetime, you’d need your very own ark to survive the flood of words that came pouring out. How can somebody who doesn’t even like the simple act of conversing with another individual ever expect to be any good at writing? (I’m terrible at job interviews because of this by the way.)

Tonight will be better. Tonight is the night I will convince myself that my writing is worth something. Tonight will be different than all the other times I said that. Reality dictates that I am wrong and tonight will be no different, but I’m nothing if not a lunatic that does the same thing and expects different results.

To be clear, I’m not asking for you to tell me my writing is good. Even if I were to believe you, my brain would still deny it. I’m just airing my thoughts and trying to figure out why I’m avoiding what needs to be done.

3 responses to ““This is the most I’ve ever heard you talk”

  • TheOthers1

    Comrade! I’ve thought similar things. Talking to close friends isn’t difficult for me. My issue is total honesty with my thoughts with them. Not everyone knows how I really think about things.

    I understand your feelings about failure. There are some many writing things I want to accomplish, but haven’t gotten far because I’m not so sure about my writing or I can’t convince myself to edit my work.

    When is your birthday? Because I’m beginning to wonder about that twinsy thing.

    • Adam Ickes

      It’s not even really that it’s difficult anymore. It’s just that quiet has been who I am for so long that I’m comfortable with it being that way. My friends know I don’t talk much and they’re fine with that. It’s a mutual understanding kind of thing.

      Fear of failure has always been a powerful deterrent for me. Someday, if I’m lucky, I’ll be one of those old guys and says and does whatever they want without caring about what others think, but that day is a long way away.

      My birthday is near the end of August.

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