I hate myself too much to write. I feel a constant you-suck-age all around me, distracting me and withdrawing the energy from my carpal tunnel fingers.
Self-worth is the wildest roller coaster a person of any height can climb aboard. I believe in fantasy, and in the idea that even the crappiest piece of shit writing has value. I believe these things, yet my thoughts circle around characters and plot twists until they’re spinning in confusion – metaphorical turds in the toilet bowl that is my conscience.
It’s been too long since I’ve written, and when I think about it I get a sick feeling of failure mixed with anxiety in my stomach, akin to the face reddening nausea I felt before public speaking in seventh grade. I need to get back into it and I’m embarrassed that I haven’t. I’m terrified of people witnessing something I’ve created, and mentally incapable of overcoming the self-induced writer’s block.
Interesting, that. My anxiety about writing is the same as my pre-performance anxiety. The self-hatred that precedes and prevents actual action. The fear of reprisal that never – actually – coincides with anybody’s response.
When I was in maybe second or third grade, we had singing activities. I already knew there was a difference between talk-singing, or talking melodically – which is what most of us were doing – and singing, actual singing when your mouth opened wide, your eyes closed, and music – however amateurish – slid out of the back of your throat.
Many students chose to talk-sing for these activities because they didn’t know better, but I made a very pointed decision not to open my mouth too wide.
When I tried really singing, even alone in my bedroom, I cried. Every time.
I couldn’t let my “soul” out without crumpling into myself. I still don’t know why. Maybe I had some horrible trauma that I repressed?
I talked to a therapist about it once and was told I shouldn’t dig into problems that weren’t actually negatively affecting my life. What do those words mean? How can I be content with mediocrity when every bone in my body aches to fulfill its terrifying potential?
In any case, the feeling I have about singing is the same as writing. Some writers say they hear voices tearing them down and judging them, but for me the terror comes from deep within, from that same well that fuels the tears.
I am a writer; I was meant to write. I feel the call.
But I can’t escape the fear.