If it hasn't been obvious to everyone, I've been struggling with my writing lately. Okay, the honest truth is I haven't been writing at all. I've allowed too many excuses and the imagined lack of time to keep me from doing what I know I really want to do - be a writer.
It's sad sometimes how easily we deceive ourselves. How easily we can create an imagined reality to cover up the truths that should be so evident. Why haven't I been writing? This has been a question that has been bugging me for some time, though I really didn't admit the truth to myself until today.
We bought a treadmill the other day and I was really excited to get back into shape. I know so many of you would be screaming bloody murder at me if you saw the relatively decent shape I'm in, but I got tired of my waistline expanding and my wife wanting me to buy jeans in the next size up. Yes, I only weigh 180, but I don't really want to start buying jeans that are larger than size 36. Hell, I want to get back to my size 34 or even 32.
So once I had the treadmill set up, I jumped on it yesterday and exercised my butt off for a while. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity (Wed or Thurs) when I can get on it again. What does all this have to do with writing? Well, in my case, both activities are very similar.
You see, I used every excuse under the sun to keep from exercising. The gym was too far away. I didn't want to drive for 10 minutes to get there. Too much homework. Yada yada yada. All excuses, no real concrete reasons why I couldn't have just started walking around the block or doing pushups.
As for my writing, I have been using similar excuses (not enough time, no good ideas, etc) as a way to not write. Today I realized how intentionally blind I've been about my own problem. The real truth is that I've had the wind knocked out of my sails and I just didn't want to face the problems head on. My dwindling time spent writing began right after I submitted my short story for critique in the writing class. At that time, I used the excuse of setting it aside as a way to not deal with the revisions. I told myself that this is how you do things. You let it sit for a while, then you get back to it. When the time came to launch back in though, I balked. First I justified things by saying it wasn't long enough yet. Then I just tried ignoring that the story was there, waiting to be finished. Finally, I used all the excuses in the world to keep myself from dealing with "fixing" my story.
Enough is enough though. Just like my excitement for getting back on the treadmill, I will pull out my short story and get to work. While I am still sure it's a pile of crap, I know that's just self doubt talking. The writing can be improved, the doubt can be conquered. But lying to myself about why I'm not writing isn't going to cut it.
How many of you out there are allowing yourself to not write because of doubt? If you've overcome it, what did do to get over the hump?