“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
As I type, I am, quite literally, trembling. Writing, for the sake of writing, out in the open, for everyone to see, terrifies me. I’m a harsh critic of literature, and blogs, and Facebook posts. I’ve got a good literary eye … but that far from means that I’m good at the thing I most ruthlessly judge. It might actually mean the opposite! I may castigate as a means of telling myself, falsely, that I know what I’m talking about, and I must know what I’m talking about not because I have a B.A. in English or because I’m actually a quite skilled editor, but simply because
I am a writer.
Note the haughty inflection, feel my superiority, and cower to my self-reliant confidence that this statement is true. Because to tell you honestly, it’s all you’ll have to go on. Just my essence and my word for it. Go ahead – Google it. Google me. Oh, you’ll find lots of me splashed all over the wide web of this world, but none of it for my sheer writing capabilities. I have clung so desperately to this internal gospel and masked my feeble attempts at keeping it alive for so long that I’m physically ill at the thought of discovering, after all these years – child years, teen years, college years, married years, motherhood years, adult years – that it might not be true.
And down I go. Crumpled with the brisk wind of plausibility and truth and the harsh reality of being a grown person past the promise of Spring, south of the warm hopes of Summer, and fallen by the fear of impending Winter.
I’m not good at this. Being vulnerable. Being seen. It’s not a situation I often place myself into willingly. But if I’m going to speak truth into being a writer one day, it is a place I must find myself sooner or later. And let’s be honest, the later is only getting later and we all know that “later” is where dreams die and what-ifs haunt the living. If I’m haunted, I’m determined for it to be by words like “failure” rather than words like “scared”. And hopefully, by then, I’ll have pages and pages and notebooks and blog posts and computer files full of my own compositions to keep me company – even if they aren’t any good. I’ll be a writer. Just maybe not a good one. But at least I’ll be a real writer.
And with that caveat, I invite you to place both hands over your eyes, fingers parted carefully, and gently, trepidatiously, holding no breath, read on, knowing that I have promised you nothing other than writings – devoid of any descriptive adjectives before them.