I do this every time

I’ve always been a binge writer. I get into the swing of things and write like my life depends on it (which, in some ways, it does) for a while. Then I hit a block that has nothing to do with inspiration or imagination, and everything to do with self-consciousness.

When I hit that point, writing feels narcissistic. I write about myself; I get embarrassed about dwelling on my life, as though I’ve done anything profound enough to write about. (I do  know that this is a bullshit attitude, I’m just breaking my pattern down.)

I don’t feel this way about other people’s work. I love getting a glimpse into another person’s life. When I feel it about myself always makes me stop and try to focus on something more noble. I start writing more on Cowbird because it is dedicated to life experiences, large and small; it provides the perfect cover. I work on short fiction, poetry, a novel; noble, acceptable forms of literature far enough removed to keep me from feeling self-indulgent.

But really, why bother with the pretense? All writing is about life, about feeling alive. David Foster Wallace said fiction is about what it’s like to be a fucking human being. Talking, writing, communicating; it’s all about understanding ourselves and (if we’re lucky) each other. Writing is about what it is to live as a human being. Why not stick to the source?

Human interaction is the thing that gives our lives meaning. I get that. I write to understand myself, and I hope the things I write help other people do the same. Maybe that’s self-indulgent, or self-centered, but so is life. How can you understand life if you don’t think about it, process it, record it?

This is a long way of saying that I see that block looming. I feel selfish and self-indulgent for spending so much time writing about my life. This time I’m going to push through.

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5 thoughts on “I do this every time

  1. It is funny how we are so self critical. Because I watch for your blogs…and do not think you are being self-centered at all. But knows that is how you feel and sometimes its a hard feeling to stop.

    But I am glad you will push though.

    • Thank you! I watch for yours, too; I love having a view into other lives, though I’m bad about commenting. The reading helps me feel connected.

      The other reason I stop is that I start rubbing up against a point of talking about other people, in ways that are easily misinterpreted. I need to break through that, though, if I really want to get where I’m going!

      • I would say … as others (including you) have said not to worry about my blogging…and just be okay with it in myself … so I say back to you … read …comment when the need fills you…and that will be enough *smiles*

  2. I’m pleased to have found you on Cowbird. That is a new experience for me. I’ve been here, on WordPress, for 5 years, but not really stretched myself. Cowbird is making me think more seriously about my writing, and yet allowing me more freedom.

    • Cowbird is a wonderful platform. I’ve blogged for years, off & on, and I think it’s one of the best. I like the simplicity of the feedback and interaction. Low pressure to do anything other than tell a story.

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