on writing and why it’s not as easy as i thought.

Once in awhile people bring up my blog and tell me that I am a very good writer. I thank them because that is what you do when someone compliments you but I am overly confused by it, to say the least. It’s not that I don’t think that I’m a good writer  – I must have some sort of talent for it given how easily the words come to me. I don’t see the level of “good-ness” some of these people seem to see – the “wow you should do this for a living” level, the “I really think you have meaningful things to say” level.

The truth is, is that as easy as it is for me to put words to paper, most often those words and thoughts are only one or two sentences long. I have journals full of single sentences, thoughts that lasted for a second and ended, left to diminish to nothing in the middle of pages I forgot about. What is difficult is for me to develop these thoughts into paragraphs and further develop those into full essays.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “Writing is easy. You just sit at a typewriter and bleed.” For the most part, he is right. I couldn’t begin to explain to you how many Word documents and scribbled notes I have that document my most painful moments. But I don’t give a lot of those to other people. That is the hardest part.

It is difficult to go from essays on hair and idiosyncracies and observations of the world to ones about heartbreak and sex and sociopaths. It’s not that I don’t have these things written down somewhere. It’s not that they haven’t been solidified into writing in my life. It’s that as soon as you share those things with other people they become real. And as soon as they become real they are forever memories. And sometimes forever memories are not what you want them to become.

Someone once told me he felt blogs were self-involved and I can’t help but agree. I have this platform on which I can spew out any opinion I feel like spewing at that moment without anyone stopping me. I can share my life, my thoughts, my heart with everyone who reads this. I have the power to decide what comments get approved on its pages (but I promise you I approve all of them, even the ones that disagree with me). I can create this world and show you exactly what I want you to see. This is the online dating profile of the writing world and so far I have shown you all the things that have made many people stop and say, “You’re good at this.”

It’s not easy to sit at this screen and bleed. It’s not easy to share my most depressed days. It’s not easy to sit here and type out feeling lost or heartbroken or completely misguided. I’ve tried. I’ve done it. But they sit in the “drafts” section as of yet unpublished. I’ve a month of upheaval and uncertainty, a month of getting rid of what wasn’t good for me anymore and some of the days in that month had me pounding my feet on a treadmill to get it all out of my system to avoid breaking down. But you didn’t know about those things. Because I didn’t show them to you.

I’m not trying to say that I have deceived you because I haven’t. Everything I have written, everything I have said, had come from me and I stand by it one hundred percent. I feel everything that I put down in these posts. What I’m trying to say is that there is no blog out there that isn’t specific about what they show. There is no novel that doesn’t show you exactly what they want to show. It’s books that are brave in their rawness, their realness, their gritty portrayal of the darkest feelings that put me in awe because that is a bravery I have yet to know.

When you’re a writer, you internalize everything. You observe everything. You feel it all. And you can only get it out through words. I hope that someday I can share that all with you.

And that is why writing is hard. And that is why I am surprised when someone tells me I should do this for a living or that I am good at this. Because I am not that good yet. I am not ready for that yet. Over half of what I think and feel has not been publicly shared because it is too difficult for me to do it. But maybe one day. Maybe one day.

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