Writing has always been where I have gone to escape. If I’m upset, I write. If I’m stressed, I write. If I’m worried, I write. If another chick whose name ends with “A” has told me to take a hike, I write. It’s always come easy for me to sit down, take a deep breath and let the words come to me, through me, and onto my monitor…or piece of paper if I’m going all 19th Century and writing longhand. If only I weren’t so adept at procrastination because that, too, comes extremely easy for me.
If someone were to X-Ray my brain I’m certain that aside from the grey matter that it consists of it would look a little bit like the home of one of those pack rats from that show “Hoarders”. Here’s how writing usually works for me: I’m usually sitting someplace – at work, having dinner, getting a haircut, etc – and suddenly an idea pops into mind, I think it all the way through, I have a cast of characters, a little dilemma here a little drama there, mix in a little conflict, a possible conclusion and “voila!” I have a skeleton of what would be a damn good story….then I tuck it away in the corner of my brain and it sits there…and sits and sits and sits next to the other tens of ideas that have been sitting and sitting and sitting since Lord knows when. And that’s why I think my brain looks like a bachelor’s garage but instead of being filled with unswung golf clubs, fishing poles that haven’t been in water in decades and unlifted barbells, I simply have stories. Lots and lots of stories.
So I was sitting in my den procrastinating – probably watching a soccer game – and listening to a CD by a friend of mine named David and in one of my favorite songs on that disc the question is asked “How can a dancer dance if you don’t sing?” Any other time I would just sing the lyrics and not think anything of it but for some reason I stopped right in the middle of what I was doing and then got mad at David for being in my business like that. All these ideas in my head, all of these potential books and stories, and all these dreamed up persons, places, and things and I’ve done nothing with them except let them clutter up in the garage of my mind. How many people would find what I write amusing, funny, thoughtful, provoking, silly, or even lacking talent? How dare I rob someone of their right to right a scathing review of my work or to praise it for its ringing simplicity!
And how dare you…
We all have talent. It’s my belief that before we were sent to Earth through our mothers we were downloaded with talent; apps from God if you want to put it simply. Some of us, like my friend David who indirectly spurred this blog through a song he wrote, use our talent to the best of our abilities by pushing our envelopes to our personal limits and seeing what comes through on the other side. Then there are those that have a gift and sit on it, either because of non-belief in their own talent, lazy as all get out or, like me, just procrastinating for no good reason at all. And why? Would I have known how much fun it is to ride a bike had I not gotten over my fear and taken those first few pedal pushes as a kid? I never would have known I was a natural at soccer had I said no thanks to my father who told me that I should play when I was 6.
I think as we get older we lose that inner kid that is willing to try anything, to do anything, not out of folly but simply because we weren’t afraid to. As kids we didn’t worry about consequence or rejection because it wasn’t in our nature to. We were indestructible and willing to do anything once and try again if it didn’t kill us. That inner kid is still in there calling out for me to follow my dream of being a writer and that should overshadow any procrastination caused by doubt or fear or worry.
How can a dancer dance if you don’t sing? Or how can a reader read if I won’t write? Or how can a buyer buy if you won’t sell? Or how can a lover love if you won’t trust?
Find your boundary and crash through it, you owe it to yourself as well as the little kid inside you that’s waiting for you to try.
~thanks for reading 🙂