My Split Personalities as a Writer

I learned something new about myself today. I’m not as afraid of sharing my written work as I thought I was….That is if it’s something I am writing for someone else – such as an assignment from a teacher for a class. I have to do it. I don’t have a choice. I was told to write about this, so I wrote it. Other people wrote about it too. You can read it. You can proofread it for me. You can give me suggestions without hurting my feelings. It doesn’t mean that much to me. It’s just an assignment. Great. No Problem.

Why is that a big deal? Because I’m terrified of people reading the stuff I write for myself. Not like this little blog where I am just rattling on about my own feelings – heck I love to tell people how I feel, could do that all day long. I mean the stories that I create in my mind, with my own imagination, my own thoughts, my own characters, my own make-believe-world. I’m talking about the books I have started to write and have yet to let anyone read (even a paragraph). I won’t even tell anyone what they are about. Those are personal. They are sacred. They are my creation. They come from my soul. They are my dream. One day I hope to share them with the world and see my name in print and stand up proud and say, “I wrote that. Booyah!” But, at this point they are rough drafts. They are random chapters in my laptop and scribbled notes in the tablet hidden under my bed. They need more details, they need a thesaurus, and they need completed, proofread, added to, edited, and polished before anyone reads them.


What is my fear anyway? Why can’t I chill out, get over it, don’t worry. Well, because I’m a type A personality who thinks things have to be perfect in order for other people to approve. Fuck what other people think! Great. I wish. Honestly, my fear is that someone, most likely my critical husband, will say something about my writing that will make me feel like I can’t do it and I will turn away from my dream. They’ll say that’s dumb. Or why would you write that? Or it doesn’t sound like Nora Roberts. Or I never knew you had such kinky thoughts. Or something that will make me feel ashamed or inadequate. Then I will be too afraid and I won’t finish. Then I’ll always work for ‘the man’ to get by, paycheck to paycheck at a job that never challenges my intellect or rewards me for it, always feeling incomplete and unfulfilled (like the last twelve years have been).

If my Dad was still on this Earth he would say, “You can do it!” He wouldn’t have a doubt in his mind whether I’d be successful or not. He’d brag to his friends that his daughter was a writer, even if I was never published. He’d be impressed by anything I wrote. But he’s not. And I didn’t marry my Dad – I did the opposite and married someone very different. My husband doesn’t say stuff like that (with a straight face), he says, “That will never work.” He says he’s not critical; he’s just trying to help. He’s just giving another perspective; he’s just trying to help me improve (insinuating I was broken?). Then I usually get mad and say something like “you can help me by keeping your damn mouth shut” and storm into the other room. (Yes, yes I am a spoiled brat who wants my way more than I want the truth.)

My hubby is good at a lot of things, boosting my ego just isn’t one of them. So honey, I’m sorry I close the laptop every time you walk into the room. I swear I’m not watching porn or having an affair on Facebook. (Seriously? You should be more concerned about me shopping online.) Nope, I just want privacy with my thoughts until I feel confident enough to expose anyone else to them. Once I have a complete story and know in my own heart that it feels right then I can share and get suggestions from others. But even if I am a fabulous writer, my husband would still not be the best judge of my work since he never reads fiction, makes fun of vampires, and doesn’t like to watch chick-flicks. Honey, if I ever write a biography on Steve Segal, I promise you’ll be the first one to read it. Otherwise, four friends, two relatives, various potential agents, many potential publishers, a stranger on the street and a partridge in a pear tree will get to read my work before you do. Validation needs to come from someone who knows what they’re talking about, not someone who fusses about the way I load the dishwasher.


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