Does anybody read these?

Friday, March 30, 2007

White Space

Did y'all notice I've been really quiet lately? It's surely not because I've been boring, because it's been quite the opposite lately.

I've been extremely busy. I've done some really cool things, like going to Kenny Chesney's birthday party. I had some real moments of self-realization. I may have even posted my profile (complete with an adorable picture of me I forgot I had!) on an online dating site.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I got a clean bill of health from my doctor this week. I don't have to go back until July 10th. That's pretty good.

Why haven't I mentioned any of this before?

Because I've had a massive case of writer's block. I got my ass in big trouble at work because a story I've been working on for months ended up being four days late, and I was holding up the whole magazine.

Believe me, I'd rather not have been stuck for the last few days. I don't think it's so much that I couldn't think of what to write. Over the past several days, I've had a half-dozen drafts.

My problem, my friends, is that I am extremely critical of myself. (I know you've all been reading for ages, and you all just said "duh," all at once.) I am my own worst critic. I wrote this article four times only to erase it and start over. Every lead, every paragraph, every line, it's all been changed a half-dozen times. I worked on it for hours yesterday, and I came to work this morning and erased the whole damn thing. I labored over it for hours today, with my boss getting increasingly aggravated as the day went on.

And when I finally printed it out and handed it to her after hours of rewrites? She thought it wasn't too bad, but it just needed a little beefing up. That was kind of funny, because it wasn't until Wednesday that I decided not to just focus on one member like I'd planned all along. So, I have to interview two more people, who've yet to call me back. I may need to start stalking them soon.

Why do I do that? Why do I second-guess everything I do? Why do I slave over something, decide it's total shit and start over, when I know I don't have time to do that?

Will I ever wake up one day and realize that the work that I'm doing is good, and that I don't suck. Because I know you all think I'm a good writer, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think I'm the worst writer ever. (OK, maybe not the worst. I did mention that I signed up for an online dating thing this week, so I've seen bad.)

It amazes me that y'all read this blog. It amazes me that anyone cares what I have to say, and they think I say it eloquently. I don't believe I'm entertaining. I'm not Hemingway or Plath, that's for fucking sure.

I do believe that good writers are born and it's not something you can learn. And I know that I have a gift that others do not have. I went to the second-best journalism school in the country. I learned a lot while I was there.

But I also felt completely and totally inadequate while I was there. Even though I did well in my classes, I'm not working at a big PR firm like my classmates. I don't have a Peabody or a Silver Anvil. I don't need awards, but I sure as hell don't need to miss a deadline because I feel like I'm a shitty writer either.

Yet, every time our newsletter goes to print or I hit publish on this blog, I worry that it's finally going to be the publication where someone says "Do you know that you suck ass and can't write?" Every time I write, I wait for that day. Hell, when I interviewed for this job I told Kay, "They seem to really like me, but my writing sample sucked ass." They loved it.

I know other writers read my blog. Do you ever get past this performance anxiety? Does it ever get easier? Because I've been writing since I was six years old, and I have spent two dozen years waiting for someone to call me out as the fraud that I feel like I am...

And that's the only part of my job that fucking sucks.

1 comment(s):

Hemmingway and Plath killed themselves.
I do not want you to be like Hemmingway and Plath.
I want you to be LAURA!.
wake up.
You have a nice twist of the word.
You speak for the real person.
Besides - wouldn't you rather be a speech writer to the pres. or something and write famous Quotes for all time rather than books kids are forced to read in class?
Interesting question.
Actually I never thought about that until I typed it.
Which would it be?

By Blogger trying2hide, at 4/01/2007 5:53 AM  

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