letting go

{I haven’t written anything in awhile, and someone encouraged me to write about my writer’s block, so here goes…}

I’ve always said that I write to empty my mind, and I read to distract it. I’ve always done these things, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes for pleasure. I’m the person who always carries a pen, a notebook, and three books in my purse. I jot down the most random of thoughts because I never know if I can turn it into something beautiful. I cover empty spaces with post-it notes, covered in scribbles that make sense only to me.

If I don’t write things down, they sit around, taking up space in my mind. They bounce around, begging me to notice them, to acknowledge, to turn them into something permanent. There is a window of opportunity before they disappear into the recesses. And then I simply forget, but I remember that I have forgotten and it gnaws at me. Sometimes a whisper of the idea will come back and taunt me. But I never see it all; I can never get it back.

So when I say that I haven’t been writing for the last couple of months, it means something. It has to. Because I’ve made writing the purpose in my life. When I can’t get the ideas into words on the page, I begin to feel empty and useless. The one gift I have isn’t being used, but I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to create the words.

I write to empty my mind. But right now, my mind isn’t empty. Its full to bursting. There are so many thoughts and ideas threatening to escape. They beg me to put them to paper, to type them into existence. They bother me constantly, reminding me that they are important and valuable and worth something. And unlike all the other times when things have popped into my consciousness, these won’t disappear or fade away. They instead loom larger, an almost oppressive presence disturbing the peacefulness of my mind.

What I can’t understand, what baffles me to no end, is why I can’t make sense of these thoughts. Why can’t I write them out of my head? Why can’t I empty my mind?

I don’t know. I can’t figure it out. And it kills me. It overwhelms.

A friend once pointed out that I was having a bad attitude. I wasn’t impressed with his observation, and told him so. He asked me to hand over my bad attitude, to give it up. He told me he would take it away from me, and I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore. But I wouldn’t give it up. I wanted it a bit longer. I wanted to be angry and frustrated and disagreeable. I didn’t want to give it away and be empty.

I think I’m afraid of my thoughts most of the time. Or maybe I’m not afraid of them, per se, but I’m afraid of putting them out there for everyone to see. Because even though I don’t want to keep them to myself, I’m terrified of letting others see. Because there is absolutely nothing more terrifying than putting your heart and soul on the page and then handing it to someone else. It’s the epitome of vulnerability, and I hate giving away parts of myself.

So maybe I can’t write, because I’m not ready to give it up. Or maybe I finally am ready, and I just need to pick up a pen and let go. I need to free my thoughts and share them with others. And maybe I need to let them go so I can free up myself. I can free my mind, heart, and soul for the purpose that I’m supposed to fulfill in my life. I’m ready to stop being so afraid: afraid of what people think, afraid of what I’m capable of, afraid of the things I could actually do for the world I live in. I truly love writing. I have to believe that I’m supposed to do it for some purpose. I have to believe I was meant to.

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One thought on “letting go

  1. Everyone gets writers block. Of course, fear/dread/reluctance to tackle something difficult or unpleasant can lead to procrastination. But in my experience, occasionally my mind just gets busy subconsciously trying to solve a problem, and I just can’t focus the way I normally can for a while.

    Well, YMMV, but it might be helpful to be aware of that.

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