Under It All
A realization jumped in front of me the day before yesterday as I tapped at keyboard keys to share a thought or two with an online writing group. It startled me, its suddenness, but it didn’t surprise me. For somehow, even with years worth of journals, blog posts, NaNoWriMo entries, and fan fiction stories behind me, an underlying fear persists:
This is all a waste of time.
It’s not like I have a lot of readers of my blog. And I haven’t finished a lot of my fiction pieces. Plus, I have a lot of other things I can be doing. Things like baking and cooking, laundry and ironing, reading and studying. There are people I should be helping, kids I should be finding fun crafts to do in Sunday school, a husband I should be making more lasagna for (right, dear?).
Yet here I sit, typing. And I’ve sat elsewhere, pen to page or fingers on another keyboard. And I write. And write. And write a little bit more.
For not only are there other things to be doing. There is also the nag of a thought if I can’t, some how, guarantee all this will be Absolute Perfection, well then – why am I wasting my time? What is the point?
Though I’m thinking all this becomes merely a handy-dandy excuse to fall back on when the writing gets tough and the characters/plot won’t get going. It’s easier (and oh so easy!) to find a reason to stop writing rather than find a way to hunker down, to wrestle with it, to say no to other things and yes to the writing process – to the work of writing. I’m tired of the former, and it’s time to sweat it out with the latter. It’s time to write a crap first draft, and possibly have it remain so however many revisions later because … because I need to finish.
For this is not a waste of time.
The time I’ve wasted not writing? Well, that’s another matter. But this work, this act of writing with the journals, the blog posts, the NaNoWriMo marathons, the stories sparked by other story worlds? Not a waste, not frivolous. For I am a writer, so … I write.